Nick Clegg, president of global affairs at Meta, is partially relocating to London, joining the growing list of top executives at the American social media company who have spent all or a large part of their time in the UK this year. have gone.
News of Clegg’s decision to split his schedule between California and the UK comes a day after the Financial Times revealed that Adam Mosseri, the head of Meta’s Instagram service, was moving to London. Chief Marketing Officer Alex Schultz has also relocated to the UK this year.
Clegg, a former leader of the Liberal Democrats and deputy prime minister in the UK, was promoted six months ago by Facebook parent Meta, which takes responsibility for all of the company’s dealings with governments globally, reports directly to chief executive Mark Zuckerberg. We do.
The new job also puts him on the front lines of dealing with the political storms that have periodically rocked the company, allowing Zuckerberg to avoid the limelight and focus on the overhaul effort to counter the rise of TikTok and the metaverse. allowed to play a leading role in the creation of ,
According to a person close to the situation, Clegg will split his time between homes in California and London, and is part of a sea change led by Meta. In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, Zuckerberg was more outspoken than other tech leaders in saying remote working would become a permanent part of his company’s operations, though it’s only this year that many top executives moved their core bases. have make. Away from Silicon Valley.
Clegg chose to spend more time in the UK and continental Europe, as friends say there are personal reasons, including living closer to his elderly parents, and he sees London as a better base from which to travel. Travel to Europe and Asia.
Since moving to Facebook in 2018, Clegg never made a secret of his lack of affection for California, telling the FT in an interview last year that he was “a European at heart”. He said at the time that he had not set a time limit on how long he would work in California, but that his “heart is 5,000 miles away”.
Responding to a question from the FT, Meta said: “The last few years have brought new possibilities around the way we connect and work. We believe it’s more important than how people do things.” That’s where they work from.”
Other top executives moving away from Meta’s home base in Menlo Park this year include Guy Rosen, chief information security officer, now based in Israel, and head of product Naomi Gleit, who is in New York. Head of Development Javier Olivan is dividing his time between California and Spain. Zuckerberg spent much of his time at his home in Hawaii during the early part of the pandemic and now splits his time between there and the company’s headquarters in Silicon Valley.
Facebook’s transition to a new form of remote leadership is unusual even by the standards of the tech industry, according to Nick Bloom, an economics professor who has been at the forefront of experimenting with new forms of work since the start of the pandemic. . who studied distance work at Stanford University.
Bloom said the change in leadership style was easy for companies like Airbnb that have gone away entirely. In contrast, he said, remote leaders at companies such as Facebook, Google and Microsoft face a greater challenge, as their companies try to operate in a hybrid fashion, with many employees still in the office. are spending their time.
Facebook has given its employees the choice between working completely remote or hybrid where they are encouraged to spend at least half their time in the office. Clegg already manages a global team that operates remotely.
Zuckerberg’s experiment in running the meta through a more geographically distributed leadership group comes as the company is under pressure to pull off a difficult transition. He warned investors last week that the company faces a “tough” period as it seeks to overhaul its existing services first.
“Working solely remotely can make it difficult for a company to make major changes at a critical time” because “creative and innovative” work is easier for the individual, Bloom said. However, he added that META’s top executives are likely to return to headquarters frequently for important meetings, bridging some gaps.