Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg ordered his management team to only use Android phones, according to The New York Times. The decision reportedly occurred after Apple CEO Tim Cook criticized Facebook in an MSNBC interview for being a service that traffics “in your personal life.”
In those comments made back in March, Cook dismissed a question asking him what he would do if he were in Zuckerberg’s shoes dealing with the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica scandal by saying, “I wouldn’t be in this situation.” Cook’s comments “infuriated” Zuckerberg, according to the NYT. In an interview with Recode, Zuck said he found Cook’s comments to be “extremely glib,” and that “I think it’s important that we don’t all get Stockholm syndrome and let the companies that work hard to charge you more convince you that they actually care more about you. Because that sounds ridiculous to me.”
“We’ve long encouraged our employees and executives to use Android because it is the most popular operating system in the world,” said Facebook in response to the New York Times article.
While it’s not clear from the NYT’s reporting that Cook’s aggressive comments directly provoked Zuckerberg into issuing his Android-only order, it’s still a rational decision to make American executives use Android. Android is the dominant operating system in many regions outside of the US, including South America, Europe, Russia, South Asia, and parts of the Middle East.
It’s also a good business decision. Other tech companies like Snap have strongly encouraged workers to use Android phones. US tech workers tend to use these phones less, which creates a blind spot when working on the apps. Android and iOS have real differences that could impact app development and user experiences.
That said, we checked Twitter activity from several Facebook executives, including blockchain lead David Marcus and VP of AR and VR Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, all of whom are still shown to be using iPhones, so it’s possible Zuckerberg’s order wasn’t fully enforced or that these people all use iPhones in their personal lives.
Update November 15th, 4:42AM ET: Article updated with a response from Facebook.