LONDON (Reuters) – Facebook Inc (FB.O) has employed former British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to steer its global affairs and communications crew, because the social community offers with quite a lot of scandals associated to privateness, pretend news and election meddling.
The appointment makes Clegg, former chief of Britain’s Liberal Democrats and deputy to David Cameron within the 2010-2015 coalition government, probably the most senior European politician ever in a management position in Silicon Valley.
Facebook stated Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg had been intently concerned within the hiring course of, and began speaking to Clegg over the summer season.
“Our company is on a critical journey. The challenges we face are serious and clear and now more than ever we need new perspectives to help us though this time of change,” Sandberg stated on a Facebook publish congratulating Clegg.
Clegg, 51, succeeds Elliot Schrage and can report to Sandberg starting on Monday. He will transfer to California together with his household within the new 12 months.
He was ousted as deputy prime minister after the Conservatives gained a majority in 2015 in an election that noticed his Liberal Democrats endure a big loss of assist.
Clegg, whose enchantment to youthful voters was critically broken when he broke a promise to not elevate scholar tuition charges, lost his personal seat in Britain’s parliament in an election final 12 months.
He apologized in 2012 for breaking his promise on scholar fees, saying “I will never again make a pledge unless as a party we are absolutely clear about how we can keep it”.
Clegg is becoming a member of a company that has apologized for its errors and has promised to do higher on many events, for instance for breaching its customers’ belief.
“Throughout my public life I have relished grappling with difficult and controversial issues and seeking to communicate them to others,” Clegg stated in a Facebook publish.
“I hope to use some of those skills in my new role”
Clegg, a robust advocate of Britain’s membership of the European Union, stated it was a “wrench” to be leaving the general public debate at a vital time in Brexit, however added that key selections would move to parliament, of which he was now not a member.
He will be a part of his Liberal Democrat colleague Richard Allan on the social community.
Allan, a member of parliament between 1997 and 2005 who now sits within the higher home, is Facebook’s vice president of public coverage for Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Clegg has mentioned on-line safety and privateness, each when in workplace and extra not too long ago in newspaper articles.
“I’m not especially bedazzled by Facebook,” he stated in an article within the London Evening Standard in 2016.
“While I have good friends who work at the company, I actually find the messianic Californian new-worldy-touchy-feely culture of Facebook a little grating.”
He additionally stated he was unsure that firms akin to Facebook actually pay all of the tax they may, though he added that was as a lot the fault of governments that also hadn’t acquired their tax act collectively.
Schrage, who led the social community’s response to its a number of scandals, stepped down from the position in June after a decade with the company. Schrage will keep as an adviser, Facebook stated.
Facebook has confronted a barrage of criticism from customers and lawmakers after it stated final 12 months that Russian brokers used its platform to unfold disinformation earlier than and after the 2016 U.S. presidential election, an accusation Moscow denies.
In March, the company confronted new scrutiny over the way it protects private data after acknowledging that the info of as much as 87 million individuals ended up within the palms of political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.
Reporting by Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru and Paul Sandle in London; Editing by Arun Koyyur, Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and David Evans