Meta chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has promoted the company’s top policy executive, Nick Clegg, to president of global affairs, Zuckerberg said in a post on Wednesday, reducing his own role in the company’s policy decisions.
Clegg, who previously served as Britain’s deputy prime minister, had joined Facebook as vice‑president for global affairs and communications in 2018.
He was instrumental in the establishment of the oversight board – a regulatory group that was formed in 2020 to make decisions independent of Facebook’s corporate leadership.
Clegg’s promotion is the latest public shift for the company, which has made a number of substantial changes in recent months as it refocuses its efforts on building out the metaverse – a digital world where users can meet in virtual reality.
In a post on his personal Facebook page, Zuckerberg said Clegg’s new role would give him more authority to respond to regulatory issues in the new metaverse world. Clegg will “lead our company on all our policy matters”, Zuckerberg wrote – including forming policies with international governments and “making the case publicly for our products and our work”.
He added that the new role would put Clegg “at the level” of himself and Sheryl Sandberg, who is the company’s chief operating officer.
“As Nick takes on this new leadership role, it will enable me to focus more of my energy on leading the company as we build new products for the future, and it will support Sheryl as she continues to focus on the success of our business,” Zuckerberg wrote.
Clegg joined the company in 2018, when Facebook was facing intense pressure over its policies during the 2016 US presidential election. . He also helped the company weather controversy around Facebook’s role in the persecution of the Rohingya in Myanmar, and most recently the revelations made by whistleblower Frances Haugen.
As Meta moves forward with its plans for the metaverse, it will face intense scrutiny from regulators about how it can avoid such pitfalls in the future. In her own post, Sandberg echoed Zuckerberg’s sentiment about the need to be proactive about regulation.
“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,” she said. “Nick’s calm and principled leadership will continue to be an asset for Meta in the months and years to come.”