On Saturday, Facebook announced that former Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Nick Clegg, will be heading its global affairs and communications team. Clegg, former leader of Britain's Liberal Democrats, held the position in the British parliament with former British Prime Minister David Cameron between 2010 and 2015 and will replace Elliot Schrage, a veteran at Facebook.
This hiring has been handled by Facebook’s top bosses themselves. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg have been involved. It is said that they began talking to Clegg during the summer months. "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 said in a Facebook post congratulating Clegg.
Clegg’s appointment comes as Facebook seeks to direct increasingly delicate matters of diplomacy with governments around the world, with regulators bringing fresh scrutiny to Facebook over everything, from its use of customer data to how it intends to safeguard the reliability of democratic elections.
51-year old Clegg will take control of the office from Monday next week and will report to Sandberg. He will move to California with his family in the New Year.
This is not the first time Facebook has roped in people with a political background for help. But Clegg is perhaps the highest-profile politico to take a management position in the company’s history, underscoring the gravity of Facebook’s situation as it faces mounting criticism from European policymakers.