Facebook May Hire Former Obama Staffer Robert Gibbs
Facebook may be trying to add some presidential polish to their public image: according to the New York Times, the social networking site is in talks with Robert Gibbs, President Obama's onetime press secretary, for a position involving management of Facebook's communications.
The anonymous sources went on to say that Facebook wants Gibbs before an IPO in early 2012, though the negotiations are still in an early phase and have not yet resulted in an offer. Facebook is reportedly trying to speed up Gibbs' move into the private sector, as he has previously expressed a desire to postpone new employment until after he helped with Obama's re-election campaign.
Should he take the position, the sources note that he could potentially receive millions of dollars, including not only a cash salary but pre-IPO shares. Facebook was recently valued at $85 billion on SecondMarket.
Facebook spent over $350,000 in lobbying efforts last year, an indication of how much more the company's stake in the government's purview of the site has risen since its founding in 2005. Internet security and privacy have both been in the spotlight over the past year as loci for increased regulation.
Apparently Gibbs has been discussing the job--to be based in Palo Alto--with some former colleagues, like David Axelrod, a former senior adviser for Obama. Gibbs has held talks with a few other companies since leaving the White House.