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Recode Daily: Facebook’s communications chief Elliot Schrage exits

Plus, AT&T wasted no time completing its merger with Time Warner; Steve Bannon wants to disrupt banking with cryptocurrency; machine learning predicts the World Cup winner.

Facebook comms chief Elliot Schrage
Elliot Schrage

Facebook’s policy and communications head, Elliot Schrage, is stepping down after a decade with the social media giant. Schrage will stay on to help hire his replacement before transitioning to the role of an adviser to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg. He has been criticized for the company’s response to the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal. Meanwhile, Aleksandr Kogan, the former Cambridge Analytica contractor who reportedly harvested personal data on up to 87 million Facebook users, is set to appear before a Senate panel next Tuesday. [Kara Swisher and Kurt Wagner / Recode]

AT&T completed its acquisition of Time Warner, just two days after a federal judge ruled that the $85 billion merger could clear and just hours after the Justice department said it would allow the deal to close. Law professor Tim Wu, the author of “The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age,” has some second (and third) thoughts about the court’s decision to approve the megamerger. [Jacob Kastrenakes / The Verge]

Here’s a look inside Amazon’s $3.5 million competition to make Alexa chat like a human. Each of this year’s eight teams, selected from universities around the world, will build chatbots using Amazon’s resources — basic speech recognition tools from Alexa, free computing power from Amazon Web Services and stacks of training data from tens of millions of Alexa users. [James Vincent / The Verge]

After being pushed out of the White House and then Breitbart News, Steve Bannon is now focused on cryptocurrencies, which he thinks can disrupt the financial world the way Donald Trump disrupted America politics. [Jeremy W. Peters and Nathaniel Popper / The New York Times]

No one wants to work at the White House, so it’s having a job fair today. Despite the president’s insistence that “everybody wants to work in the White House,” the steady stream of exiting officials shows no sign of slowing. The Trump administration is looking for “competent conservatives” of “every experience level” at the Executive Branch Job Fair at the Dirksen Senate Office Building. [Adam K. Raymond / New York]

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