Facebook announced Tuesday that it has hired former White House Press Secretary Joe Lockhart as vice president of global communications -- a major addition to the tech company's official presence,
Lockhart was press secretary during President Bill Clinton's second term.
"Joe's arrival brings new skills and greater depth to our incredibly busy team," Facebook vice president Elliot Schrage said in a statement. "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. His experience launching and scaling a communications firm will help us as we seek to build our team and continue to offer great opportunities for growth and professional development."
Lockhart, who starts July 15, will manage Facebook's Corporate, Policy and International communications teams. After leaving the White House, Lockhart founded the Glover Park Group, a strategic communications firm in Washington, D.C., where he represented a range of tech companies, including Yahoo and Microsoft.
In a parting statement to his colleagues at GPG, Lockhart said is proud of what he accomplished and he expressed mixed emotions about the move.
"I'm sad because I won't get to come to work here every day. I'm excited because it's a great, and new, opportunity for me personally," he wrote in the statement, obtained by Tech Daily Dose.
A Facebook spokesman said Lockhart is a natural fit for the company, which faces 24/7 scrutiny. The social network has been beefing up its Washington efforts, and was reportedly wooing former Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs, but the talks fell through.
Facebook is under increasing scrutiny by Congress, federal regulators and the media over privacy concerns.