Joel Kaplan, a former staff member under George W. Bush, will join Facebook and lead the Washington D.C. office.
Previously an executive vice president at Energy Future Holdings, Kaplan has very strong ties to the Republican party.
Facebook is in need of growing the company’s D.C. efforts as they want to “demonstrate to policy makers that [they] are industry leaders in privacy, data security and safety,” the company said in a press release.
Evelyn Rusli of the New York Times is calling this a “significant coup.” Given the increasing scrutiny surrounding Facebook’s privacy practices, it’s critical that they continue to add staff members to increase their influence within the beltway.
It also sounds like a great career change for Joel Kaplan. According to the Times, he’s leaving a private equity firm that’s currently “sitting on billions of dollars of losses.” Sounds like the perfect time to jump ship and head to a company which is sitting on billions of dollars in new revenue!
In addition to Joel Kaplan, Facebook has hired another Republican, Myriah Jordan, who “recently served as general counsel to Senator Richard Burr, Republican of North Carolina,” the Times said.
I’m sure we’ll be hearing much more about the D.C. office in the coming months as it attempts to convince Congress that Facebook’s privacy practices sufficiently protect users.