Creative

Facebook’s creative ad guru Mark D’Arcy set to leave company

Mark D’Arcy, Facebook’s head of global business marketing and chief creative officer, is leaving the company after working for more than a decade teaching brands the ropes of social media advertising.

D’Arcy had been with the company since 2011 and helped develop Facebook Creative Shop, which is an advertising and marketing strategy group within the social network. The Facebook Creative Shop was designed to show brands and chief marketing officers how to do social media advertising correctly. The Facebook Creative Shop now has more than 300 people on the team around the world.

On Monday, Facebook confirmed that the creative leader is stepping away from his role on Sept. 7. Michelle Klein, Facebook’s VP of global customer marketing, will fill in for D’Arcy in the interim, the company said.

“Mark has been a key leader at Facebook for over a decade. We are grateful for his many contributions, and we wish him the best,” a Facebook spokesperson said by email. 

D’Arcy joins a list of high-profile departures from Facebook in the past year as the company is headed in new directions. In June, Carolyn Everson, head of Facebook’s global business group, resigned after more than a decade at the company and is heading to Instacart. Everson was one of Facebook’s most important liaisons to major marketers.

On Monday, D’Arcy posted a note to his Facebook page: “I’ve decided the time has come for me to leave the company,” D’Arcy said. “It’s hard to easily sum up the last 10 years other than to say I am immensely proud of the teams I’ve been fortunate to be part of and the business we worked to build.”

“I am also very grateful that my various roles here enabled me to work with, and learn from, so many curious, demanding, brilliant and generous people, not just within Facebook but also at so many companies, not-for-profits and organizations in almost every corner of the world,” he continued. If you are one of these people, thank you for being such an important part of this adventure.”

D’Arcy did not reveal where he would be heading next. Facebook is clearly in a period of transition and looking for a new strategy. The creative landscape has completely shifted in social media in the past 10 years. Brands need to understand more about the world of creators, the online stars with large social media followings. Also, e-commerce has become an important category for brands to master on social media platforms. Meanwhile, video styles have changed: Brands used to need 15-to-30 second commercials, and now they need six-second snappy stories.

Facebook also has growing competitive threats with companies such as Amazon and TikTok offering advertisers new ad platforms. With all the challenges, Facebook is trying to polish its brand image and rejuvenate relationships with its more than 10 million advertisers.

“D’Arcy was a big part of cementing the bond between Fortune 500 companies and Facebook creatively at a time when they were struggling to master the formats and effectiveness of social,” says Noah Mallin, chief of brand strategy at IMGN Media.