Fb wished Mr. Clegg to assist restore its relationships with regulators, political leaders and the media after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, when knowledge improperly pulled from Fb was used to create voter profiles. Mr. Clegg’s worldwide expertise and luxury in 5 languages — English, Spanish, French, German and Dutch — appealed to the American-centric firm.
Mates stated Mr. Clegg had initially been reluctant to hitch Fb, one of many world’s most polarizing companies. However he wished to be again on the heart of necessary political and coverage debates. In a memo outlining how he envisioned the position, he argued that it was unsustainable for a non-public firm like Fb, quite than democratically elected governments, to have a lot energy, particularly on speech-related points.
“My recommendation was strongly to go for it,” stated Tony Blair, the previous British prime minister, whom Mr. Clegg spoke with earlier than taking the job, “since you’re going to be a part of some of the highly effective corporations on the earth at a second of monumental change on the earth, and when expertise is on the coronary heart of that change.”
Inside Fb, the place Mr. Zuckerberg leans on a gaggle of buddies and early staff for counsel, Mr. Clegg earned the belief of his new boss. On the firm’s headquarters, the place proximity to Mr. Zuckerberg is energy, Mr. Clegg’s desk was positioned close by. He orchestrated a visit by means of Europe with Mr. Zuckerberg, assembly with European Union leaders in Brussels and President Emmanuel Macron of France in Paris.
Since Mr. Clegg’s arrival, Fb has shifted a few of its coverage positions. It now seems extra accepting of regulation and better taxes. He overcame reluctance from Mr. Zuckerberg and others within the firm to ban political advertisements within the weeks earlier than Election Day final 12 months. And he was the primary inside supporter for lately introduced product adjustments that give customers extra management over what posts they see of their Fb feeds.
“He has a observe document of realizing what it’s prefer to work inside a cupboard that should make choices shortly and transfer on the velocity of a rustic, or on this case a platform,” stated Chris Cox, Fb’s chief product officer, who labored with Mr. Clegg on the user-control adjustments.