It was somewhat of a surprise when Facebook hired Sir Nick Clegg to head its global lobbying efforts. The former UK Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Democrat Party tells reflects on his time so far in Silicon Valley with Politico Magazine.
“When I arrived here, Facebook was just constantly taking just endless incoming fire,” says Clegg during a 75-minute interview at Facebook’s California headquarters in November, the first of three conducted for this article over the course of six months. “If I felt we could just go quiet, boy, would I advocate for it. But I actually don’t think that’s possible,” he says. “I don’t believe in sitting here behind these lovely walls in Menlo Park and kind of just hunkering down.” It was something Clegg had picked up in the rough and tumble of British politics, where he often felt caricatured by the country’s aggressive press: “In the long run, it’s better to say your piece, have a point of view, be understood, even if you’re not liked.”
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