Facebook has recently hired Joe Lockhart, the former press secretary under President Bill Clinton, in the company’s effort to strengthen and add “greater depth” to its global communications team.
Lockhart served as press secretary during Clinton’s second term as president, and handled the Monica Lewinsky scandal in its entirety. At Facebook, he’s expected to reorganize and rebuild the company’s scandal-ridden relations with the media and other industries. He moved to Washington, D.C. to begin working last week.
Elliot Schrage, Facebook’s current V.P of global communications, marketing and public policy, put out a statement saying that Lockhart would bring “greater depth” to the team. “His experience building and running a press office at the White House gives him particular appreciation for the demands of a global 24-hour news cycle and the challenges of responding effectively to intense scrutiny,” he said.
This might be Facebook’s first hiring of a former White House press secretary, but it’s not the first time the company contemplated the idea. In fact, they may have another state official working in the P.R department very soon.
In an effort “to protect” itself, presumably from government regulations, Facebook is in negotiations to hire former press secretary Robert Gibbs to “provide the company with a footing in Washington.”
In the Obama administration, Gibbs was tapped to play the role of ‘all American’ to give the administration a more down to earth identity. In his attempt to play this role, he famously dubbed left-wing critics of the administration “the professional left,” forgetting that many of these critics helped put his employer in the White House.