Back to Media: Facebook Head of News Products Alex Hardiman Is Joining The Atlantic

She came to the social network from The New York Times in 2016

Facebook head of news products Alex Hardiman, who joined the social network in 2016 from The New York Times, is returning to the media side, joining The Atlantic as chief business and product officer.

Hardiman left the Times to lead Facebook’s pages team in the summer of 2016 before her promotion to head of news products in June 2017.

At The Atlantic, she will “guide audience experience and product strategy across The Atlantic’s platforms; lead the product, engineering, data and growth teams; and shape The Atlantic’s ongoing initiatives on digital consumer revenue,” the publisher said in a press release, working out of its offices in New York and Washington, D.C.

The Atlantic said it is expanding its ranks by 100, and the teams that will report to Hardiman have doubled in size over the past year.

Hardiman is taking over many of the duties previously led by Kim Lau, who was promoted earlier this summer from senior vice president of digital to executive vp of strategy and operations.

A Facebook spokesperson said, “Alex is a true leader who built a fantastic team. She helped develop a framework and key news products for both people on Facebook and publishers. We wish her nothing but the best at The Atlantic.”

The Atlantic president Bob Cohn said in a note to staffers, “Alex will lead teams responsible for creating a superior user experience that serves both our audiences and our businesses, and for driving product innovation across the company. In all of these areas, Alex will be building on the excellent work of our product and growth groups under the leadership of Kim Lau.”

He added, “As for Alex, there is journalism in her blood. A news junkie who did a fellowship at Columbia Journalism School’s Sulzberger Executive Leadership Program (and, before that, graduated from Columbia University), she traces her interest in media to her great grandmother, who was a radio and television pioneer, and her grandfather, who was a broadcast journalist covering civil rights. Her passion and experience will be a big asset as we, with support and encouragement from Emerson Collective, seek to make The Atlantic an even more indispensable part of our readers’ lives.”

And Hardiman said in a Facebook post announcing her move, “When I met with The Atlantic and Emerson Collective teams to learn about the next phase of investment and growth, I already knew how much of a privilege it would be to join them. In my new role, I’ll be partnering with teams across The Atlantic to create digital products that people love, grow the company’s consumer revenue line and transform The Atlantic from a media-centric organization to a leader in media and product. After having built products with hundreds of news organizations at Facebook from the outside, I’m particularly excited to return to tackle these opportunities with The Atlantic from within.” David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.