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Facebook makes ex-FCC chairman its US public policy chief after data scandal

  • Facebook is making Kevin Martin, a former chair of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), its interim head of U.S. policy.
  • Erin Egan, who was in that role, will now focus on her other job of chief privacy officer.
  • Martin joined Facebook in 2015.
  • The reshuffle comes following increased political and regulatory scrutiny of Facebook in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Kevin Martin, former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, and now interim head of U.S. public policy for Facebook.
Kimberly White | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Kevin Martin, former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, and now interim head of U.S. public policy for Facebook.

Facebook is shuffling around its senior leadership in the wake of increased regulatory scrutiny following the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

Erin Egan, the social network's chief privacy officer, was also in charge of U.S. policy, which involved lobbying and government relations.

She will be replaced as head of policy in the U.S. by Kevin Martin on an interim basis, Facebook confirmed to several media outlets on Tuesday.

Egan will stay on as chief privacy officer.

"For the last couple years, Erin wore both hats at the company," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.

"Kevin will become interim head of U.S. public policy while Erin Egan focuses on her expanded duties as chief privacy officer."

The executive shuffle comes following a rough period for the company with revelations that Facebook data were harvested by a developer before being sent over to political consultancy Cambridge Analytica. Political and regulatory scrutiny followed with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg forced to appear in front of U.S. lawmakers.

At the same time, European Union lawmakers have summoned Zuckerberg to testify on the continent, and Facebook is rolling out changes to try to comply with a massive new data protection law coming into force on May 25, known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Martin will report to Joel Kaplan, vice president of global public policy. Kaplan and Martin worked together during the 2000 George Bush and Dick Cheney presidential campaign and then under the administration that followed.

Facebook hired Martin in 2015 as the vice president for mobile and global access policy. He was previously chair of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).