Facebook has hired former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg as its new head of global affairs and communications, in a shock addition to the social media company's executive team. He will move to California in the New Year alongside his wife, Dechert lawyer Miriam Gonzalez-Durantez, and their three sons. Mr Clegg lost his own seat in Britain's parliament in a general election past year.
Clegg - who led the Liberal Democrats into coalition with the Conservative Party in 2010 - will move to Silicon Valley in January to succeed Elliot Schrage, the Financial Times reports.
Mr Clegg is joining a company that has apologised for its mistakes and has promised to do better on many occasions, for example for breaching its users' trust.
The tech giant was possibly attracted to Clegg less for his time in United Kingdom office and more for his tenure as European Trade Commissioner. "I hope I will be able to play a role in helping to navigate that journey".
Mr Clegg, a strong advocate of Britain's membership of the European Union, said it was a "wrench" to be leaving the public debate at a crucial time in Brexit, but added that key decisions would pass to parliament, of which he was no longer a member.More news: Trump calls Elizabeth Warren ‘total fraud,’ offers to give DNA test himself
"But the key decisions will soon pass to Parliament, of which I am no longer a Member, and once I had chose to take up this unique new challenge at Facebook, I felt it was best to get going sooner rather than later". In November previous year, Clegg issued a passionate defense of the company from "unfair criticism" by news organizations with "ulterior motives".
He also said he was not sure that companies such as Facebook really pay all the tax they could, although he added that was as much the fault of governments that still hadn't got their tax act together.
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.
The British firm, which worked on US President Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign, was found to have harvested the data of 87 million Facebook users.
Clegg said Facebook was "at the heart of some of the most complex and hard questions we face" such as "privacy of the individual", "integrity of our democratic process", and "the balance between free speech and prohibited content".