Facebook hires former deputy PM Sir Nick Clegg

Facebook hires former deputy PM Sir Nick Clegg

Facebook has hired former UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to head its global policy and communications teams, enlisting a veteran of European Union politics to help it with increased regulatory scrutiny in the region.

Clegg will succeed Elliot Schrage, who announced his departure from Facebook in June.

The 51-year-old will be the vice president of global affairs and communications at Facebook, BBC reported. But presumably Clegg will be more circumspect about the promises he makes before starting the new role than he was in 2010, when he pledged not to raise tuition fees, then promptly entered a coalition that did just that.

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The appointment comes at a time when the world's largest social network is facing criticism from users and lawmakers following scandals about privacy and election meddling.

With experience as a former European Commission trade negotiator and member of the European Parliament, as well as his previous roles in United Kingdom government, Clegg will be seen as a move by Facebook to bolster itself in the face of mounting calls for regulation. Certainly, he should be well versed in how to deflect questions from British MPs if ever called to give evidence in front of committees. In November past year, Clegg issued a passionate defense of the company from "unfair criticism" by news organizations with "ulterior motives".

The former Liberal Democrat leader's announcement was greeted with surprise in Westminster.

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