Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Facebook hires former British deputy PM Nick Clegg for top communications job

Nick Clegg speaking at a a Liberal Democrat Party Conference fringe event in September Nick Clegg speaking at a a Liberal Democrat Party Conference fringe event in September
Ellis Copeland | 20 October, 2018, 04:38

According to the Financial Times, Clegg, 51, got the job after successfully "wooing" Mark Zuckerberg and will be one of the few high-ranking British officials to enjoy a position close to the chief executive's side.

Facebook has faced intense scrutiny and the threat of government regulation following the Cambridge Analytica data scandal and alleged election meddling. Clegg will take over from Elliot Schrage and will report to the Sheryl Sandberg, the firm's chief operating officer.

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The former United Kingdom deputy prime minister will move to Silicon Valley in January to succeed Elliot Schrage, according to a report.

"I hope to use some of those skills in my new role".

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He will start work on Monday and will spend a week at the company's Menlo Park headquarters, before moving to California permanently in the new year.

Clegg will be operating under huge pressure in his new role, as Facebook attempts to tackle the problem of fake news on its platform before United States mid-term political elections in November.

Facebook has faced a barrage of criticism from users and lawmakers after it said in 2017 that Russian agents used its platform to spread disinformation before and after the 2016 US presidential election, an accusation Moscow denies.

The move appears to mark something of a change of heart for the knight of the realm, who in 2016 said that he was "not especially bedazzled by Facebook" and found the "messianic Californian new-worldy-touchy-feely culture of the Social Network™ a little grating". Sir Nick has not disclosed his new salary, but previous year top executives received $25.2 million (£19.3 million).

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