A seasoned British politician is the head of global affairs for one of the largest social networking companies in the world.
Nick Clegg is now the president of Global Affairs for Meta Platforms Inc FB. He had been vice president of Global Affairs and Communications since October 2018.
In his new role, Clegg will be in charge of Meta’s policy decisions and interactions with governments, which could move Meta Platforms founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg out of the spotlight.
“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,” Zuckerberg said.
Here are five things you might not know about Nick Clegg.
1. Joined Meta Platforms After Political Career: Clegg joined Facebook, the former name of Meta Platforms, after more than two decades of experience in British politics.
Clegg began his political career as a member of the European Parliament in 1999. He became the leader of the Liberal Democrat party in 2007 in the U.K. Clegg served in roles for the U.K. Parliament, European Commission and the U.K. Coalition Government, for which he was deputy prime minister, 2010 to 2015. Clegg was defeated by Jared O’Mara of the Labour Party in the 2017 general election.
Clegg moved to the U.S. to take on a new role at Facebook.
2. Wanted To Give People Shares Of U.K. Banks: Clegg proposed that 46 million people should be given shares of several U.K. banks as a part of a “people’s bank” plan in 2011. The proposal called for the population to get shares in the Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group. PLC LYG.
Clegg’s plan was to reward taxpayers who helped with the bail-out of banks. Shareholders would profit if shares of the banks increased going forward.
“Their money has been used to the tune of billions and billions and billions to keep the British banking system on a life-support system,” Clegg said.
3. Favorite Bands, Albums: Clegg appeared on an episode of “Desert Island Discs” back in 2010. At the time, Clegg named several classical music albums on his list and also named Johnny Cash, Prince, David Bowie and Radiohead among the artists whose music would be on the island with him. Some were surprised to hear Clegg’s pick of Shakira’s “Waka Waka,” the theme song to the 2010 World Cup, among his eight selections.
4. Controversies: Among the items mentioned as controversies surrounding Clegg are the burning of a cacti collection. As a 16-year-old exchange student in Munich, Germany, Clegg burnt down a rare collection of cacti owned by a professor.
Another controversy for Clegg was breaking an unwritten rule and calling for the resignation of a U.K. Parliamentary speaker. Clegg was the first since 1695 to publicly call for a Speaker of the House of Commons to resign. The speaker in question, Michael Martin, resigned a month after Clegg made the remark.
5. Take on Internet Regulation: Clegg has laid out a bipartisan approach to internet regulation that could impact Meta Platforms and other technology companies. Clegg called for reform on Section 230, Congress to protect against influence operations, pushing for federal privacy legislation and new rules on sharing data collected by companies.
Clegg shared that a new digital regulator should be created by the U.S. to help manage issues such as content and data in a similar manner such as the Federal Communication Commission overseeing telecoms and media.
Photo: Courtesy Meta Platforms
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