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 in new users and keep them coming back for more. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's founder and chief executive, would later describe the growth team as the platform's "most important

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