THE SOCIAL NETWORK Facebook has hired former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg as its new head of global affairs and communications.
No, this isn't an early April Fool's. The Financial Times reports that Clegg's recruitment comes after "months of wooing" by Facebook leader Mark Zuckerberg, and will see him move to Silicon Valley in January to join the company's leadership team.
Zuck is said to have had his sights set on Clegg less for his tumultuous time in UK office and more for his experience as a former European Commission trade negotiator and member of the European Parliament. And the FT speculates that Facebook could seek to use his Brussels connections to navigate potential legal troubles brought about by the EU's General Data Protection Regulation.
He's probably read Clegg's defence of Facebook and other Silicon Valley tech firms in the i paper last year, too, in which the former Liberal Democrats leader wrote: "It's time we pause for breath before everyone charges off in a stampede of condemnation of tax-dodging-fake-news-extremism-promoting-data-controlling tech firms.
"The unthinking mood of hostility could soon topple into outright Luddism against new forms of technology."
Clegg will succeed Elliot Schrage, who announced his departure from Facebook in June.
According to the FT, Clegg 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.
We're off for a lie-down. µ
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