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Facebook hires former UK deputy Prime Minister as top communications executive

He will report to Facebook's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg
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Mark Zuckerberg (pictured) has reportedly been wooing Clegg for months

In the latest twist to the Facebook (NASDAQ':FB) story, the social networking giant has hired a well-known UK political heavyweight - Nick Clegg - as its head of global affairs and communications.

Clegg, 51,  was the deputy Prime-Minister under David Cameron when the Liberal Democrats were in a coalition government with the Conservatives between 2010 and 2015. 

He will report to Facebook's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, who, along with founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg,  reportedly played a big part in the appointment.

He replaces Elliott Schrage and the job starts on Monday. He will relocate with his family to Silicon Valley within months.

Clegg is highly familiar with European politics and has been a big opponent of Brexit- the UK's decision to leave the EU.

He is a  former European Commission trade negotiator and former member of the European Parliament and commentators have suggested that Facebook may want to use him as leverage in Brussels.

The firm has had a hard time in recent years and has faced growing scrutiny from European regulators.

There was outrage concerning the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, as the small firm was accused of accessing information on tens of millions of Facebook users.

There have also been allegations that Russian-backed propagandists had exploited the social network for election meddling.

In the past year, highly visible executives have left or announced their departures from Facebook, including the co-founders of Instagram and WhatsApp.

Mr Schrage has also gone and Colin Stretch, Facebook’s general counsel.

Unsurprisingly perhaps, Clegg took to Facebook today to write: "Having spoken at length to Mark and Sheryl over the last few months, I have been struck by their recognition that the company is on a journey which brings new responsibilities not only to the users of Facebook's apps but to society at large.

"I hope I will be able to play a role in helping to navigate that journey," he wrote.

Shares in Facebook nudged up 0.019% to $155.

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