Nick Clegg, the president of worldwide affairs at Meta, is partly relocating to London, becoming a member of a rising record of high executives from the US social media firm who’ve moved for all or a considerable a part of their time to the UK this yr.
Information of Clegg’s choice to separate his schedule between California and the UK got here the day after the Monetary Instances revealed that Adam Mosseri, head of Meta’s Instagram service, was transferring to London. Chief advertising officer Alex Schultz has additionally relocated to the UK this yr.
Clegg, a former chief of the Liberal Democrats and deputy prime minister within the UK, was promoted by Fb father or mother Meta six months in the past to tackle duty for all the corporate’s dealings with governments globally, reporting on to chief govt Mark Zuckerberg.
The place has additionally put him on the entrance line of dealing with the political storms which have periodically rocked the corporate, permitting Zuckerberg to flee the limelight and focus as an alternative on an tried overhaul to counter the rise of TikTok and take a lead in constructing the metaverse.
Clegg will divide his time between houses in California and London, in line with an individual near the state of affairs, and is a part of a sea change in Meta’s management. Within the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, Zuckerberg was extra forthright than different tech leaders in saying that distant work would change into a everlasting a part of how the corporate operates, although it’s only this yr that numerous high executives have moved their foremost bases away from Silicon Valley.
Clegg determined to spend extra time within the UK and continental Europe for what associates stated have been private causes, together with eager to be nearer to his aged mother and father, including that he noticed London as a greater location from which to journey to Europe and Asia.
Having moved to Fb in 2018, Clegg has by no means made a secret of his lack of affection for California, telling the FT in an interview final yr that he was “a European at coronary heart”. He stated on the time that he had not set a deadline on how lengthy he would work in California, however that his “coronary heart belongs massively 5,000 miles away”.
In a response to a query from the FT, Meta stated: “The previous few years have introduced new prospects across the methods we join and work. We consider that how individuals work is way extra vital than the place they work from.”
Different high executives to have moved away from Meta’s dwelling base in Menlo Park this yr embody Man Rosen, chief info safety officer, who’s now primarily based in Israel, and Naomi Gleit, head of product, who’s in New York. Javier Olivan, head of progress, is dividing his time between California and Spain. Zuckerberg spent a lot of his time within the early a part of the pandemic at his dwelling in Hawaii, the place he now divides his time with the corporate’s headquarters in Silicon Valley.
Fb’s shift to distant management is uncommon even by the requirements of the tech trade, which has been probably the most forward-thinking in experimenting with new types of working because the begin of the pandemic, in line with Nick Bloom, an economics professor at Stanford College who has studied distant work.
Bloom added that the change in management fashion was simpler to drag off at firms resembling Airbnb which have gone absolutely distant. Against this, he stated, leaders working remotely at firms resembling Fb, Google and Microsoft face an even bigger problem in attempting to function in a hybrid trend, with many staff nonetheless spending a part of their time within the workplace.
Fb has given its staff the selection between going absolutely distant or hybrid working, the place they’re inspired to spend at the very least half their time within the workplace. Clegg manages a worldwide group that operates remotely.
Zuckerberg’s experiment in working Meta by a extra geographically distributed management comes as the corporate is below strain to drag off a tough transformation. He warned buyers final week that the corporate faces a “robust” interval because it first seeks to overtake its present providers.
“Working absolutely distant may make it more durable to drag off main modifications” at a important time for the corporate since “inventive and modern” work is simpler in individual, stated Bloom. Nonetheless, he stated Meta’s high executives have been prone to return to headquarters incessantly for vital conferences, overcoming among the drawbacks.