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Facebook nabs Yahoo's chief information security officer

Alex Stamos joins the social-networking giant after a little more than a year on the job at the Web company.

Alex Stamos is joining Facebook as its chief security officer. Alex Stamos

Yahoo's cybersecurity chief has jumped ship to Facebook after a little more than a year as Yahoo's head of security.

Alex Stamos, who was appointed Yahoo's chief information security officer in March 2014, has joined Facebook as its chief security officer, Stamos revealed on Wednesday in a Facebook post. Stamos fills a vacancy left at the social-networking giant when Joe Sullivan took the same role at ride-sharing startup Uber in April.

Stamos wrote that he is joining Facebook in an effort to build secure products that help provide personal, educational and economic opportunities, especially to under-served portions of the globe.

"There is no company in the world that is better positioned to tackle the challenges faced not only by today's Internet users but for the remaining [two-thirds] of humanity we have yet to connect," Stamos said of Facebook in his post. "The Facebook security team has demonstrated a history of innovation as well as a unique willingness to share those innovations with the world, and we will build upon that history in the years to come."

Representatives at both Facebook and Yahoo confirmed Stamos' move. Yahoo said his replacement on an interim basis will be Ramses Martinez, who, according to his LinkedIn profile, is a senior director of Yahoo's security team and previously worked at security and domain-name company VeriSign.

Stamos is a well-respected cybersecurity veteran. Seth Rosenblatt/CNET

For Yahoo, Stamos' move comes as CEO Marissa Mayer deals with other departures of key executives. Other top brass, including the head of Americas, Ned Brody, and Mike Kerns, a senior executive who was previously in charge of Yahoo's home page, have reportedly left. The instability has led to reshuffling among Mayer's top lieutenants. Earlier this year, Mayer promoted Simon Khalaf to senior vice president in charge of Yahoo's home page and other products. Khalaf came to Yahoo when Mayer bought his mobile analytics firm, Flurry, last August.

Stamos, 36, was a respected cybersecurity veteran before he joined Yahoo. Previously, he was the chief technology officer for security firm Artemis. He was also a key organizer of TrustyCon, a security industry conference held last year. The gathering was billed as counterprogramming to the security firm RSA's flagship conference, after RSA was accused of being involved with the US National Security Agency. In February, Stamos famously clashed with NSA Director Mike Rogers over decrypting communications, asking whether "backdoors" should be offered to China and Russia if the US had such access.

CNET's Richard Nieva contributed to this report.

Updates, June 25 at 7:45 a.m. PT and 10:27 a.m. PT: Adds Yahoo and Facebook confirmation and more background.