Nick Clegg — Meta’s head of coverage and communications — is getting a elaborate new title: he’s being upgraded from vice chairman of world affairs to president of world affairs. The transfer appears much less about elevating Clegg’s obligations and extra about positioning him (reasonably than CEO Mark Zuckerberg or COO Sheryl Sandberg) entrance and middle for Meta’s main coverage choices and interactions with governments.
“For the final three years, Nick has managed a few of the most complicated points our firm faces — together with content material coverage, elections, the institution of the Oversight Board, and extra,” Zuckerberg wrote in a submit saying the transfer. “Nick will now lead our firm on all our coverage issues, together with how we work together with governments as they take into account adopting new insurance policies and laws, in addition to how we make the case publicly for our merchandise and our work.”
Fb confirmed Clegg’s obligations over communications and coverage for Meta will stay the identical. His new function will see him collectively report back to Zuckerberg and Sandberg, Meta’s chief working officer, as a substitute of to simply Sandberg alone. Clegg had beforehand labored as a politician in the UK and served because the Deputy Prime Minister from 2010 to 2015 earlier than becoming a member of Fb in 2018.
The transfer additionally seems supposed to shift Zuckerberg’s focus and duty on main coverage choices extra absolutely over to Clegg, who had already been dealing with a lot of that work within the public eye. The purpose, ostensibly, is to provide Zuckerberg extra time to assist construct out Meta’s metaverse ambitions whereas spending much less time in entrance of congressional committees underneath fireplace for the way Fb does or doesn’t average content material.
“As Nick takes on this new management function, it can allow me to focus extra of my power on main the corporate as we construct new merchandise for the long run, and it’ll help Sheryl as she continues to give attention to the success of our enterprise,” Zuckerberg’s be aware provides.
Meta and its merchandise — which embrace Fb, WhatsApp, and Instagram — have seen no scarcity of controversy over coverage choices, with debates over how the corporate has dealt with issues like COVID-19 misinformation, the psychological well being of youthful Instagram customers, and the contentious choice to bar President Donald Trump from its platforms. Having a higher-level govt like Clegg who can function a public face when addressing these points and who instantly reviews to Meta’s CEO and COO might assist streamline a few of that course of, particularly with Meta heading in the direction of one other US election season this fall.
Correction February sixteenth, 7:10PM ET: An earlier model of this story cited Joel Kaplan as saying Nick Clegg would retain the identical obligations over communications and coverage. In actual fact, Fb confirmed Clegg will retain these obligations over Kaplan. We remorse the error.
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