Facebook parent Meta moves Nick Clegg to new role in next step of metaverse push

A file photo of Nick Clegg
A file photo of Nick Clegg

Summary

Former British deputy prime minister named president of global affairs, at same level as CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg

Meta Platforms Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg promoted Nick Clegg to president of global affairs, giving the former politician a leading role as the parent company of Facebook tries to navigate myriad global regulatory challenges.

The new position for Mr. Clegg, who joined the company in 2018, puts the former British deputy prime minister on the same level as Mr. Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, the company said.

“Nick will now lead our company on all our policy matters, including how we interact with governments as they consider adopting new policies and regulations, as well as how we make the case publicly for our products and our work," Mr. Zuckerberg said in a statement.

“It will enable me to focus more of my energy on leading the company as we build new products for the future," he added.

Mr. Clegg joined the company as Facebook was facing a crisis of public trust and the growing scrutiny of Silicon Valley from U.S. and European regulators on several fronts, including over its policies during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Facebook drew criticism from users and lawmakers after discovering in 2018 that data firm Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed information on tens of millions of users, and over a disclosure that Russian-backed propagandists had exploited the social network. Mr. Clegg also helped the company navigate allegations that the social network played a role in the spread of disinformation and perpetuated unrest in several countries across the world.

Facebook again faced pushback from lawmakers following a The Wall Street Journal investigation last year that showed the company was aware of many problems with its platforms, including how Instagram harms some teenage girls and the company’s algorithms promote social discord.

Mr. Clegg’s promotion comes as Meta is investing heavily in online digital realms known as the metaverse, hoping to reposition itself as a leader in an emerging space with new virtual-reality experiences, services and hardware.

“The next few years will be a crucial time for our company and our industry as new rules for the internet are written all over the world, and as we set out on our journey to help build the metaverse," Ms. Sandberg said in her own statement.

“Nick’s calm and principled leadership will continue to be an asset for Meta in the months and years to come," she said.

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