Facebook wanted Mr Clegg to help restore his ties with regulators, political leaders and the media after the Cambridge Analytica scandal when data improperly retrieved from Facebook was used to create voter profiles. The international experience and the comfort of Mr. Clegg in five languages - English, Spanish, French, German and Dutch – appealed to the American-oriented company.
Friends said Mr Clegg was initially reluctant to join Facebook, one of the most polarizing companies in the world. But he wanted to be at the center of important political and political debates again. In a memo detailing how he envisioned the role, he argued that having so much power, especially on language-related issues, is unsustainable for a private company like Facebook, rather than democratically elected governments.
“My advice was strong,” said Tony Blair, the former UK Prime Minister with whom Mr Clegg spoke before taking office, “because you will be part of one of the most powerful corporations in the world.” World in a moment of tremendous change in the world, and when technology is at the center of that change. “
On Facebook, where Mr. Zuckerberg relies on a group of friends and early employees, Mr. Clegg earned his new boss’s trust. At the company’s headquarters, where proximity to Mr. Zuckerberg is in power, Mr. Clegg’s desk was placed nearby. He organized a European tour with Mr. Zuckerberg and met with the leaders of the European Union in Brussels and the French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.
Since Mr Clegg’s arrival, Facebook has shifted some of its political positions. There now seems to be more acceptance of regulation and higher taxes. He overcame the reluctance of Mr. Zuckerberg and others at the company to ban political ads in the weeks leading up to election day last year. And he’s been the top internal backer for recently announced product changes that will give users more control over what posts they see on their Facebook feeds.
“He knows what it is like to work in a cabinet that has to make decisions quickly and move at the speed of a country, or platform in this case,” said Chris Cox, Facebook chief product officer, who worked with Mr. Clegg about the user control changes.
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