Facebook Australia MD Stephen Scheeler resigns

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 13 February 2017
Stephen Scheeler

Facebook Australia and New Zealand managing director Stephen Scheeler has left the business.

Facebook confirmed to AdNews this morning that Scheeler had resigned, simply saying, “We confirm that Stephen Scheeler is no longer with the company.” 

Facebook's group industry director Paul McCrory will be the interim leader while the company opens up the search internally and externally. Scheeler was tasked with leading Facebook's growth and working closely with key brands, agencies and clients and he reported to Dan Neary, vice president of APAC.

Facebook promoted Scheeler from within the business in August 2015 as its new managing director. He replaced Will Easton and prior to the top job Scheeler was previously head of retail and automotive. 

His exits follows several data scandals at the social media company – with just this weekend, Facebook agreeing to have its metrics externally audited. 

In August last year it emerged that Facebook had been over-inflating video view metrics for around two years, fuelling the debate around digital players’ ‘walled gardens’ and the need for independent third-party measurement across the platform. At the time Publicis Media was informed the average time watching figure could have been inflated by up to 80%.

Facebook had been on a crusade to position itself as a video-first channel. Back then Scheeler told AdNews that video was “the backbone” of the platform.

Just two months after the August scandal, Facebook then revealed several other miscalculations and errors it has found in its reporting, alongside a raft of improvement measures it believes will offer more transparency, “clarity and confidence” in its metrics.

There have been calls for Facebook to provide third party audited metrics from across the industry following a number of admissions from Facebook that it had misreported its own metrics to advertisers and agencies. 

Mark Ritson, the academic who is vocal about his distrust of Facebook’s tactics and metrics, last week outlined four ways clients were being gouged by digital and agencies - the lack of independent measurement is one of them.

Scheeler could not be reached for comment.

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