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Facebook hires former UK deputy prime minister as head of global affairs

LONDON (Reuters) – Facebook Inc (FB.O) has employed former British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to steer its global affairs and communications group, as the social community offers with a host of scandals associated with privateness, faux information and election meddling.

The appointment makes Clegg, former chief of Britain’s Liberal Democrats and deputy to David Cameron within the 2010-2015 coalition executive, probably the most senior European flesh presser 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 procedure, 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 put up congratulating Clegg.

Clegg, 51, succeeds Elliot Schrage and can report back to Sandberg starting on Monday. He will transfer to California together with his circle of relatives within the new yr.

He used to be ousted as deputy prime minister after the Conservatives received a majority in 2015 in an election that noticed his Liberal Democrats endure an important loss of give a boost to.

Former Liberal Democrat chief Nick Clegg speaks at a marketing campaign match in London, Britain, May 2 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

Clegg, whose enchantment to more youthful citizens used to be significantly broken when he broke a promise to not elevate scholar tuition charges, misplaced his personal seat in Britain’s parliament in an election ultimate yr.

He apologized in 2012 for breaking his promise on scholar fees, announcing “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 an organization that has apologized for its errors and has promised to do higher on many events, for instance for breaching its customers’ accept as true with.

“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 put up.

“I hope to use some of those skills in my new role”

Clegg, a robust suggest of Britain’s club of the European Union, stated it used to be a “wrench” to be leaving the general public debate at a an important time in Brexit, however added that key selections would cross to parliament, of which he used to be now not a member.

He will sign up for 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 space, is Facebook’s vp of public coverage for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Clegg has mentioned on-line safety and privateness, each when in place of job and extra just lately in newspaper articles.

“I’m not especially bedazzled by Facebook,” he stated in an editorial 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 used to be no longer certain that businesses such as Facebook truly pay the entire tax they might, even though he added that used to be as a lot the fault of governments that also hadn’t were given their tax act in combination.

Schrage, who led the social community’s reaction to its a number of scandals, stepped down from the position in June after a decade with the corporate. Schrage will keep as an adviser, Facebook stated.

Facebook has confronted a barrage of complaint from customers and lawmakers after it stated ultimate yr 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 corporate confronted new scrutiny over the way it protects private knowledge after acknowledging that the information of as much as 87 million other people ended up within the palms of political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

Reporting by way of Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru and Paul Sandle in London; Editing by way of Arun Koyyur, Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and David Evans

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