Oct 21, 2019 - Technology

Zuckerberg sent staff recommendations to Buttigieg campaign

Pete Buttigieg and Mark Zuckerberg

Photos: Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images; Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan sent Pete Buttigieg's 2020 presidential campaign staff recommendations earlier this year, reports Bloomberg.

The big picture: Zuckerberg and Chan made the recommendations as the social media platform faces bipartisan scrutiny on issues like misinformation, privacy, election meddling and bias.

  • Ben LaBolt, a spokesperson for the Zuckerberg-Chan family, told Bloomberg that those recommended had asked Zuckerberg and Chan to pass along their names to Buttigieg's campaign.
  • Buttigieg campaign spokesman Chris Meagher confirmed the recommendations and said, "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. ... The staffers come from all types of background, and everyone is working hard every day to elect Pete to the White House."

By the numbers: Two of the people listed in the emails are now working on the campaign: Eric Mayefsky and Nina Wornhoff.

  • Mayefsky previously worked as the director of data science at Quora, a 10-year-old startup founded by former Facebook employees.
  • Wornhoff previously worked as a engineer at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and in Indiana Democratic politics.

The state of play: "Mark and Priscilla have not decided who to support for president," LaBolt said.

  • Other Facebook executives, including David Marcus, the executive leading Facebook's cryptocurrency efforts, and Naomi Gleit, one of Facebook's longest-tenured executives, have donated to Buttigieg, according to Bloomberg.

Worth noting, via Bloomberg: Zuckerberg and Buttigieg "overlapped at Harvard, and Buttigieg was friends with two of Zuckerberg’s roommates. He was also one of Facebook’s first 300 users. But they were only introduced years later by a mutual Harvard friend."

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