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Facebook Hires Ex-Deputy Premier Clegg to Lead Lobbying Push

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© Bloomberg   U.K. Member Of Parliament Nick Clegg Interview

By Robert Hutton and Natalia Drozdiak, Bloomberg

Facebook Inc. hired Nick Clegg, Britain’s former deputy prime minister, to run its global lobbying efforts, as governments around the world debate how best to regulate the social media giant.

As leader of the Liberal Democrats, Clegg was at the heart of the British government from 2010 to 2015. He’s also a former member of the European Parliament who knows his way around the institutions of the European Union. His wife, Miriam, is Spanish and a top trade lawyer.

Clegg’s hire comes as Facebook is under fire from regulators, politicians and authorities around the world on issues ranging from user privacy breaches, to the proliferation of fake news and hate speech on its platforms. He speaks French, Dutch and German.

Bringing a former local politician on board could especially help the Silicon Valley giant in the U.K., where it is under investigation for letting the data of millions of its users end up in the hands of Cambridge Analytica, a consulting firm working on Donald Trump’s 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.

“The company is on a journey which brings new responsibilities not only to the users of Facebook’s apps but to society at large,” Clegg wrote on his Facebook page. “I hope I will be able to play a role in helping to navigate that journey.” His title at Facebook will be Vice President, Global Affairs and Communications.
‘Serious’ Challenges

He replaces Elliot Schrage, who stepped down in June after a tumultuous decade at the company, which featured a period of rapid growth, an initial public offering, and the beginning of the fallout of the privacy scandals. Schrage will stay in as an advisor.

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg wrote: “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.”

Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg and Sandberg were deeply involved in the hiring process and talks to hire Clegg began over the summer. Clegg will start on Monday but the family -- he has three sons -- won’t move to California until 2019, according to a person familiar with the talks.

It’s not the first time a tech giant has lured political insiders over to its camp. Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Uber Technologies Inc. -- also both battling regulatory scrutiny and reputation damage -- recently hired former political advisers for senior public policy roles.

Google in 2016 had hired Caroline Atkinson, an economic adviser to President Barack Obama, to steer its global policy efforts before stepping aside from that role last year. And in 2015, Uber hired as its senior vice president for public policy Jill Hazelbaker, a former campaign press secretary for Michael Bloomberg’s 2009 re-election campaign as New York City mayor and for Senator John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign.

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Technology - U.S. Daily News: Facebook Hires Ex-Deputy Premier Clegg to Lead Lobbying Push
Facebook Hires Ex-Deputy Premier Clegg to Lead Lobbying Push
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Technology - U.S. Daily News
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