Meta’s Nick Clegg promoted as Zuckerberg retires from politics

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Nick Clegg attends the Web Summit, Europe’s largest technology conference, remotely, in Lisbon, Portugal, November 2, 2021.
Image credit: Reuters

Meta’s Clegg promoted as Zuckerberg retires from politics

Meta Platforms Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has promoted his chief policy officer, Nick Clegg, to an even bigger role at the company – a move that will mean less involvement in future policy decisions for the company. CEO and COO Sheryl Sandberg.

Clegg already led Meta’s global political organization, but Zuckerberg said in a message Wednesday that he will now “lead our business on all of our political matters,” including interactions with governments and how Meta will “publicly defend our products.” and our work”. Clegg, who reported to Sandberg, now also reports to Zuckerberg, with the new title of president of global affairs.

“We need a senior executive at the level of myself (for our products) and Sheryl (for our business) who can lead and represent us on all of our policy issues globally,” Zuckerberg wrote. .

Clegg’s elevated role means Zuckerberg and Sandberg will defer more to Clegg for policy decisions. Zuckerberg, in particular, has spent more time in recent years on policy issues such as content moderation and regulation than he would like, according to people familiar with his thinking. This has included plenty of discussion on issues such as political advertising and how to deal with high-profile users, like former President Donald Trump.

Zuckerberg would rather spend more time on Meta’s technology and products — areas in which he’s more experienced — including plans to create a new, immersive version of the internet known as the Metaverse, say people familiar with his thought.

“As Nick takes on this new leadership role, it will allow me to focus more of my energy on leading the business as we build new products for the future, and it will support Sheryl as she continues to focus. on the success of our business,” Zuckerberg wrote.

Clegg, 55, joined Meta in late 2018 at a crucial time for the company, formerly known as Facebook. He was still reeling from the aftermath of Facebook’s unexpected role in the 2016 US presidential election and was under increased scrutiny from politicians and regulators for data and privacy practices at the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Meta is once again gearing up for high-stakes elections with the 2022 midterms in November. It will be the first major vote in the United States since Trump refused to accept defeat in 2020 and caused other Republicans to question the integrity of the results. Meta and other social media companies will have to make tough calls on what content to act against and what to be left alone in an election when all 435 House seats are up for grabs, along with 34 of 100 Senate seats.

As a former politician – he was Deputy Prime Minister in the UK from 2010 to 2015 – Clegg brings a fresh perspective to Meta’s management team. During his three years on the job, he developed a close relationship with Zuckerberg and took the lead in many of the company’s most important decisions. He led Meta’s effort to create an independent oversight board to help make content decisions, and also led the company’s process to review and ultimately suspend Trump’s Facebook and Instagram account after the riots in Capitol of January 6.

Clegg will now be responsible for selling Meta’s new product vision for the Metaverse to regulators. “The next few years will be a critical time for our business and our industry as new rules for the internet are written around the world and we begin our journey to help build the metaverse,” Sandberg wrote in a post. “Nick’s calm and principled leadership will continue to be an asset to Meta in the months and years to come.”

Meta is also restructuring its public relations group following the departure of John Pinette, the former vice president of communications in early January. David Ginsberg is promoted to head of communications and public affairs. Ginsberg, who has worked at Meta for nearly five years, previously led the company’s choice and competition team, which focuses on building products to meet new and expected regulations, like data transfer and portability features.

This group will continue to report to Ginsberg, as will a new global public affairs team under Tucker Bounds. In an internal company message shared on Wednesday, Clegg said Ginsberg’s new team would be further restructured going forward.

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