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Facebook's former security head wants Mark Zuckerberg out as CEO

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EU elections plagued by misinformation, including "suspicious" pages on Facebook 04:06

Alex Stamos, Faceook's former head of security, believes the way to fix problems is for Mark Zuckerberg to step aside as CEO.

Speaking this week at a conference in Toronto, Stamos said he disagreed with Facebook critics' calls to break up the company. "You cannot solve climate change by breaking up ExxonMobil," he told Recode's Kara Swisher, who interviewed him at the event. "Having three companies that have the same fundamental problems doesn't make it any better."

Facebook's critics, including many presidential contenders and its co-founder Chris Hughes, have called for government regulators to break up Facebook into its component services, such as spinning off Instagram and WhatsApp.

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Stamos instead called for Zuckerberg to step down, saying he has too much power. "He should hire a CEO that can help signal both internally and externally that the culture has to change," Stamos said.

Stamos left Facebook last year as the company dealt with fallout from bogus information. Since then, Facebook has continued to struggle with such problems as privacy, fake news and hate speech.

Fake accounts on the platform doubled in the last six months, the company said this week. Facebook removed an astounding 3 billion of them. Speaking with reporters, Zuckerberg argued that the company's size actually makes it easier for Facebook to regulate bad actors.

"If you're worried about us addressing harmful content, election interference— those are the areas that are most important socially right now. The remedy of breaking up company would not address those, [and] would make it harder," Zuckerberg said.

"Our budget for safety system is greater than Twitter's revenue this past year," he added.

Zuckerberg remains the company's controlling shareholder, making it unlikely he will be replaced without his consent.

-- With reporting by the Associated Press

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