Facebook has hired former U.K. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to lead its global affairs and communications team.
The 51-year-old will take over the position from Elliot Schrage, who announced in June he would leave Facebook after 10 years. Clegg is set to move to Silicon Valley in January next year, the FT reported Friday.
The move comes after a difficult few months for the social media giant, which has faced regulatory challenges in Europe over data protection and increasing political pressure in the United States.
The former leader of the U.K.s Liberal Democrat party was deputy prime minister between 2010 to 2015 in a coalition with former British Prime Minister David Camerons Conservatives and then lost his seat in a subsequent general election last year. Clegg is also a former member of the European Parliament in Brussels.
In a statement on Facebook, Clegg said: “I am delighted to be joining Facebook. After almost twenty years in European and British politics, this is an exciting new adventure for me.
“Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger, Oculus and Instagram are at the heart of so many peoples everyday lives — but also at the heart of some of the most complex and difficult questions we face as a society: the privacy of the individual; the integrity of our democratic process; the tensions between local cultures and the global internet; the balance between free speech and prohibited content; the power and concerns around artificial intelligence; and the wellbeing of our children.”
Clegg added that “as someone who has spent a lifetime arguing for Britains wholehearted commitment to Europe, it is of course a wrench to be leaving the public debate at a crucial time in the Brexit process. But the key decisions will soon pass to Parliament, of which I am no longer a Member, and once I had decided to take up this unique new challenge at Facebook, I felt it was best to get going sooner rather than later.”
Facebooks Sheryl Sandberg described Clegg as “a thoughtful and gifted leader” who “understands deeply the responsibilities we have to people who use our service around the world.”