Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg the names of several potential hires as the Democrat continues his bid for president in an anti-big tech environment.
Zuckerberg sent emails to Buttigieg’s campaign manager, Mike Schmuhl, laying out people who might be good hires, campaign spokesman Chris Meagher told Bloomberg News. The Silicon Valley billionaire’s wife also provided Schmuhl with recommendations.
“Since the beginning of the campaign, we’ve built a top-tier operation with more than 430 staff in South Bend and around the country,” Meagher said. “The staffers come from all types of background, and everyone is working hard every day to elect Pete to the White House.”
Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, made the recommendations shortly after Buttigieg kickstarted his campaign in April, Bloomberg noted Monday. Employees asked them to reach out after seeing Buttigieg in a 2017 Facebook Live. Buttigieg gave Zuckerberg a tour of South Bend in 2017.
“Having seen Mark’s visit to South Bend in 2017 and Facebook Live with Mayor Buttigieg, colleagues later asked Mark and Priscilla to connect them with the Buttigieg campaign as they were interested in joining,” Facebook spokesman Ben LaBolt said in a statement to reporters.
Buttigieg hired two of the recommendations. (RELATED: Facebook Fires Back At Warren: ‘Let Voters — Not Companies — Decide’)
Buttigieg’s campaign brought Eric Mayefsky, a senior digital analytics adviser, and Nina Wornhoff, organizing data manager, on board. The former worked at Facebook for nearly four years beginning in 2010, while Workhoff worked at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
Buttigieg, who has cultivated a generally friendly relationship with Silicon Valley, was friends with two of Zuckerberg’s roommates at Harvard and he was one of Facebook’s first 300 users during the company’s early days. Zuckerberg has not announced who he will support in the 2020 election, according Labolt.
News of Zuckerberg’s recommendations come as Democrats are criticizing Facebook for supposedly monopolizing people’s personal data. Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, for instance, has called for breaking up the big tech company and accused it of allowing the distribution of misinformation.
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