Former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Nick Clegg has landed a top job as head of Facebook’s global affairs and communications team.
The ex Deputy PM will take up the role to help the social media giant navigate EU regulatory challenges as Zuckerberg looks to cosy up to Brussels.
According to BBC sources the Facebook founder was personally involved in the recruitment and may have spent “months” trying to woo him over.
Clegg will become the most senior addition to Facebook’s tight-knit leadership team from outside the company’s own top ranks since 2014, when former PayPal president David Marcus was recruited to run Messenger.
It is thought the decision to appoint Clegg, who is a former European Commission trade negotiator and member of the European Parliament, suggests the company is trying to boost its connections in Brussels, where Facebook could face some of its biggest regulatory challenges, the FT has reported.
It's a great hire for Facebook: someone who knows all the power players in the EU (the regulatory area giving them the most hassle), knows the policy area well, well connected to a political tendency guaranteed to be in office somewhere in the EU: https://t.co/ZhdGMrhsAV
— Stephen Bush (@stephenkb) October 19, 2018
The union’s new privacy law is starting to bite Facebook hard, with some commentators saying its latest breach could land them with a fine of up to $1.63 billion.
Nigel Farage was quick to talk down the appointment on Twitter, saying hiring a “global propagandist” is “bad news for free speech”.