If you want to earn millions working for Facebook but you are neither a programmer nor someone with a background in the commercial division of a big tech firm, there is still hope. You can try publicly opining about the societal impact of artificial intelligence, talking-up Facebook at public events as if you're already an employee, and founding a think tank which showcases many of your Facebook-friendly opinions. You can also know a lot about the European Union and how to thwart its early-stage plans to regulate Facebook like a telecommunications company sometime in the future. You're in.
This was the way of Nick Clegg, the former U.K. deputy prime minister and ex-member of the European Parliament. After years in politics, Clegg has joined Facebook as head of global affairs and communications on a salary and benefits package seemingly worth anything from £4m ($5.2m) to £7m ($9.2m). More importantly, Clegg says he's received assurances that he will be admitted into Mark Zuckerberg's, "inner circle...black box," and given, "real authority." The Financial Times notes that Clegg is Facebook's first really senior hire since 2014.
So far, so exciting - for Clegg. Whether anyone else with a complete absence of technology experience could achieve such a high ranking job at Facebook without senior governmental connections is questionable. Indeed, the Financial Times notes a trend for tech companies to hire ex-political types as communications and public policy professionals: Clegg is not the first.
Nonetheless, his appointment still offers some helpful insights for anyone else who aspires to join Zuckerberg's clique. Don't be too fawning. As Facebook struggles for moral credibility, it helps for it to hire people who've overcome previously doubts about its culture. In 2016, Clegg famously said he was not, "especially bedazzled by Facebook. I find the messianic Californian new-worldy-touchy-feely culture of Facebook a little grating.” Not any more.
Also, don't be too eager. Clegg reportedly rebuffed Facebook's initial advance, which simply made the company keener to hire him. He was phoned while he was walking the Alps. He was flown to California. He got to sit in Mark Zuckberg's garden for two entire hours. Then he was flown back to London and back to California with his wife to meet Zuckerberg for dinner. Senior bankers might want to take note of the hiring tactics: at the very least they could start tending their gardens in preparation for a horticultural charm offensive in summer 2019.
Either way, this is what it's like when a big technology firm really wants you. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, said Clegg is a, "thoughtful and gifted leader” who “understands deeply the responsibilities we have to people who use our service around the world.” Clegg is moving to California in January 2019 - just before Brexit strikes in the UK.
Separately, the CEO of an iron ore producing company has taken exception to an analyst at Goldman Sachs. "You can run, but you can’t hide,” Lourenco Goncalves said to Goldman analyst Matthew Korn after Korn issued a report saying the company "modestly missed estimates" and the company's shares fell 10%.
"You guys should resign for your lack of knowledge of things, because it’s not like you don’t understand ... our business, you don’t understand your own business. You are a disaster. You are an embarrassment to your parents," went on Goncalves. "We are going to screw this guy so badly that I don’t believe that they will be able to only resign. They will have to commit suicide. So we are going to screw this guy so badly that will be fun to watch," he helpfully added.
Goncalves' Trumpish ire was provoked by Korn's decision to look at diluted earnings per share rather than earnings per share (which were higher). He confessed to being slightly obsessed by the Goldman employee: "I wake up in the morning every day, looking at this guy and then go to bed at night every day thinking about this guy. And that's a bad place to be."
BNP Paribas is making up to 40 redundancies in its London investment bank. (The Times)
Goldman Sachs' Asian business will now be run by Todd Leland, an adviser to European banks and asset managers who only arrived in Asia last year. A Midwesterner who has spent time in the U.S. and London for Goldman, Leland seen as a steady hand and experienced banker. (WSJ)
It's been a great year for equities trading revenues, which are up 18% on 2017. (Financial Times)
Deutsche Bank shares dropped on Friday over fears about third quarter earnings. (Financial News)
Deutsche Bank hired Matthew Upton from Mizuho to focus on U.S. software deals. (Reuters)
Barclays hired Ed Wehle from Deutsche to focus on U.S. software deals. (Reuters)
J.P. Morgan's building a fintech campus for 1,000 people in Silicon Valley. (Seeking Alpha)
Symphony doesn't want to replace Bloomberg but to "surround it." Banks are deploying chatbots that “talk” amongst themselves to make and settle trades. Bots at RBC and Allianz Bernstein, for example, can execute trades with each other over the Symphony platform. (Bloomberg)
Why I left Google: "My career was being dictated by a shifting, anonymous committee who thought about me for an hour of their lives. Management decisions that I had no input into were erasing months of my career progress." (Business Insider)
Amazon seems likely to build its new U.S 2nd HQ in New York City, Newark, N.J., Chicago, Miami or Washington. (WSJ)
Want to be in the 1%? You'll need a $719k salary. (Marketwatch)
I have spent 20 years studying the customs, beliefs and rituals of central bankers around the world. They are as clever as the extraordinarily wealthy banking executives whom they regulate, but motivated by higher ideals. (New York Times)
Your desire for meat is being fueled by fears over your socioeconomic status. (Quartz)
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