If you joined Facebook at any time over the past decade, Alex Schultz probably had something to do with it. The 36-year-old from south London, a Cambridge physics graduate and self-taught specialist in online marketing, moved to Silicon Valley in 2004. After three years at eBay, he was appointed to Facebook’s newly formed “growth team” in 2007. Schultz’s mission — along with seven others — was to pioneer innovative techniques to lure new users and keep them coming back for more. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and CEO, would later describe the growth team as the platform’s “most important product feature”. Their quasi-religious verve for using data to grow at virtually any cost was so successful that companies across the industry — and around the world — have copied their tactics. When Schultz celebrated his 10th anniversary at the company, Zuckerberg posted a message on his Facebook page. “Alex is one of a small handful of people that I can say without his work, our community w...

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