Twitter CEO Goes To Government, Government Guys Go To Facebook
3:50 pm, May 27th | by Hillary Reinsberg
Political acumen and tech know-how don’t necessarily yield the same skill set, but there have been some cozy Washington-Silicon Valley switcheroos as of late. It’s a shame D.C. and California are so far apart, because it’s looking like a couple people are going to be making the cross-country trip.
Just a day after we found out two Washington advisers were hired to join Facebook, we’ve now learned that Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo was appointed to an advisory committee by President Obama, according to the Washington Post. Costolo will serve on the national security and telecommunications advisory board. This match-up seems to make sense. Facebook’s political hires, however, were a little more surprising.
Joel Kaplan, a one-time Bush aide, will head up Facebook’s lobbying and policy operations and Myriah Jordan, who used to be Republican North Carolina Senator Richard Burr’s general counsel, will be a policy manager at the social network. My goodness! Republicans inside Zuckerberg’s lefty paradise? What’s the world (wide web) coming to!?
Regardless, it looks like the Internet is helping the government, and the government is helping the Internet. It’s quite the symbiotic relationship, don’t you think?
There are a few interesting things about this. First of all, did we mention that Facebook’s two hires are Republicans – or at least worked for prominent Republicans? All kidding aside, it’s actually unclear whether CEO Mark Zuckerberg is left- or right-leaning. That being said, he does seem to be pretty chummy with Obama, so this GOP gang is a bit of a head-scratcher. The hires and appointment are also indicative of a tighter relationship between government and tech scene, which can at times be characterized as, well, rather tense. Just a few days ago, Google (where Costolo used to work) CEO Eric Schmidt warned (at a conference of Internet bigwigs and government leaders) against the government interfering with Internet policy.
Wall Street execs have long made crossovers between the financial world and the government – Goldman Sachs CEO Hank Paulson became Secretary of the Treasury – and so on. The necessity of an intimate relationship between tech movers and shakers and government, though, is obviously a newer concept, but a rapidly growing one. With these new crossover positions, we’re hoping –and frankly, expecting – to hear about more get-togethers like the one in February where Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs and Larry Ellison broke bread with Obama.