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Facebook Hiring of Former U.K. Politician Hints at European Focus

After lurching from crisis to crisis in recent months, Facebook has turned to a veteran of British politics to help with the company’s communications and policy challenges. On Friday, the company announced it has hired Nick Clegg, the former Deputy Prime Minister of the U.K., as its vice president of global affairs and communications, replacing the outgoing executive Elliot Schrage, who announced in June he would step down. Mr. Clegg will report to COO Sheryl Sandberg, as Mr. Schrage did.

The hiring of Mr. Clegg, who also previously served as a member of the European Parliament and as a British member of parliament, suggests Facebook is especially keen to build more competency in its dealings with regulators in Europe, who have taken a more energetic approach to scrutinizing technology companies than their American counterparts. The company has already been fined for failing to safeguard user data in a case involving Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm, and it is being investigated by European data protection authorities for a recent data breach. “The challenges we face are serious and clear and now more than ever we need new perspectives to help us through this time of change,” Ms. Sandberg wrote in her post about Mr. Clegg’s hiring.

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