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Facebook has a new CIO

Facebook has a new CIO. Atish Banerjea joined the social media company last month.

Banerjea comes to the position after CIO stints at NBCUniversal, a news and entertainment company owned by Comcast Corp., and Pearson Education Corp.

Martha Heller, CIO recruiter and president at Heller Search Associates, described him as “an excellent choice.” Heller, who said Banerjea would have been one of her first calls had she been heading up the search, cited several reasons for her endorsement. First, she described Banerjea as having the ability to strike the right balance between managing internal IT systems and developing customer-facing technology products. “And that’s going to be very important for Facebook,” she said.

Second, Heller pointed to his digital advertising experience at NBCUniversal, which she said will serve the social media company well. “He’s done a lot to create technology platforms that drive ad sales revenue, and that’s one of Facebook’s primary business models,” she said.

Finally, she cited his experience working in industries upended by digital technology. “He has great experience of driving transformation,” she said. “I’m not saying Facebook right now needs to transform, but I bet it will.”

CIO job description

During its search, Facebook made the unusual move of publishing the job description on its site and on LinkedIn, giving CIOs a rare glimpse into what a digitally-born company is looking for in its senior IT leader. According to the job description, Banerjea will oversee “building and running systems that will help scale Facebook globally, enabling the company to continue moving toward its goal of making the world more open and connected.” broke the news after noticing that Banerjea had updated his LinkedIn profile. The company later confirmed the appointment to the CIO Journal.