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Facebook swoops to hire Google executive

07 мая 2008

Facebook has hired a member of Google’s top management team as its new head of corporate and public affairs in the most senior Google defection yet to the fast-growing social networking site.

The departure of Elliot Schrage marks the second significant loss for Google in less than six weeks. Sheryl Sandberg, the rising Google star who helped build Google’s lucrative advertising business, left to become Facebook’s chief operating officer last month.

Mr Schrage, unlike Ms Sandberg, was part of Google’s core 14-person senior management group, a position he had held since 2005. He joins Facebook as the fast-growing social network attempts to cement its transformation from scrappy start-up into the world’s next big internet player.

Mr Schrage will be replaced at Google by Rachel Whetstone, one-time political secretary to former UK Conservative party leader Michael Howard, said a person close to the company.

Facebook did not return a request for comment on Tuesday. Mr Schrage declined to comment, but a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed Mr Schrage had agreed to leave Google for Facebook.

The move to tap Mr Schrage for Facebook’s top PR job comes as Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s 23-year-old chief executive, grapples with the company’s rapid transformation.

Strong user growth and Facebook’s application platform – which allows programmers to create games and other software to run on the Facebook site – resulted in a flood of media attention last year. The flood turned to a torrent after Facebook announced Microsoft had bought 1.6 per cent of the company in an investment valuing Facebook at $15bn.

But Facebook’s rise has not been without mistakes. Last year, Mr Zuckerberg apologised personally after the botched launch of Beacon, a feature designed to broadcast news about Facebook users’ online purchases to their friends, resulted in a privacy backlash.

Facebook was also caught off-guard in September when Andrew Cuomo, the New York attorney-general, complained it was slow to respond to complaints about pornography and other sexual content on the site.
Facebook later agreed to respond to complaints more quickly and tightened privacy controls.

Источник: Financial Times

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