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Inside the social network

Divina Paredes | Aug. 21, 2012
Tim Campos may be CIO of Facebook -- a company whose user numbers rival and even top the population of some countries -- but he faces the same quandary as his colleagues across the globe, across industries and organisation size.

"When people say that they don't have time for something, what they are really saying is that it is not that important to me."

For Campos, having a deep leadership bench is also critical. "It is incumbent on leaders to put a strong staff underneath them so they are not required to do everything," he says. "That does afford the head of a function to be able to spend less time on things that are urgent but are not necessarily important because they have staff to handle it."

A farewell to legacy

Campos has seen his team grow from around 65 to a hundred in the two years he has joined Facebook. "We are bigger, but roughly the same size in the percentage of the company."

He says it could even be a bit smaller because of their outsourcing arrangement. "We are about 100 people in addition to that 300 full-time employees with our outsourcing agencies like help desk and application support team.

The team is "leveraged, very efficient," he says. "This is an organisation that gets a lot done for every dollar that we got."

He says another area Facebook has improved are the relationships between the business and technical functions of the company. "It is a little bit hard to see where IT stops," he says.

So what are the upsides of being CIO of the largest social network?

"It is pretty obvious," he says. "You get to build the system from scratch; you are not dealing with legacy.

"We move pretty fast in support of what Facebook needs of us because we don't have to think about rebuilding stuff as much as an IT organisation."

"The proof is in the future," he says. "For us the systems are working great today, but how they evolve, how they keep pace with Facebook's scale is the biggest challenge."

His message to IT leaders? "Keep innovating," he says. "This is what keeps us employed, that is what drives more value for our businesses. Every day that we come up with new ways to solve existing problems or the problems that we don't know yet about, those are the best days of my job."

So how is it like working with Mark Zuckerberg? "He is wise beyond his years...a tremendous leader," says Campos of the 28-year old CEO of Facebook.

"Absolutely, the case of Facebook is here not by accident but by the conscious, deliberate collection of decisions that Mark and the people he chose to surround himself with have made."


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