Dara Khosrowshahi, who took over as Uber CEO in August after the ouster of co-founder Travis Kalanick, said of the hack, “none of this should have happened.”
In Wednesday’s blog post, Sullivan likened cybersecurity to real-world security, comparing a prevention-first approach online to establishing safer streets and sidewalks.
“You have two rewarding but very different paths,” he wrote, quoting a mentor. “You can prosecute one bad actor at a time, or you can try to build solutions that take away many bad actors’ ability to do harm at all.”
Sullivan said that “while each is rewarding in its own way, my best days are those where I get to see harm prevented — at internet scale.”
The announcement comes at a pivotal time in the technology industry, as major tech companies grapple with the risks and responsibility of filtering content on their platforms and handling user data — and the fallout when data is mismanaged.
Sullivan left Facebook in early 2015, just before the Guardian first reported on Cambridge Analytica and its use of Facebook user data to assist Ted Cruz’s campaign presidential effort. That story exploded into Facebook’s data scandal two months ago as multiple outlets reported on Cambridge Analytica’s extensive misuse of Facebook data during Donald Trump’s campaign for president.
Sullivan said that his “next step professionally had to be towards a team that pushes security out, proactively, to as much of the internet as possible.”