Emails Show Zuckerberg Recommended Hires for Buttigieg Campaign

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees, April 10, 2018. (Alex Brandon/Pool/Reuters)

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recommended colleagues as potential hires for Pete Buttigieg’s campaign soon after the South Bend, Ind., mayor launched his presidential bid in mid-April.

Buttigieg campaign spokesman Chris Meagher confirmed to Bloomberg News that Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, had initiated the contact by sending several emails recommending individuals as potential campaign hires. A Zuckerberg-Chan family spokesman said that the employees had asked to be recommended.

Zuckerberg overlapped with Buttigieg at Harvard, where the two shared mutual friends, and Buttigieg was one of the first 300 users of Facebook. Zuckerberg visited Buttigieg in 2017 and live-streamed a tour of South Bend given by the mayor.

“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,” Zuckerberg-Chan spokesman Ben LaBolt said in a statement. “Mark and Priscilla have not decided who to support for President.”

LaBolt did not answer a follow-up asking if the couple had made similar connections with other campaigns.

Of the several individuals recommended, two are currently on staff: Eric Mayefsky, senior digital-analytics adviser, and Nina Wornhoff, organizing data manager. Mayefsky previously worked at Quora, a startup founded by former Facebook employees, while Wornhoff worked as a machine-learning engineer at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and in Democratic politics in Indiana, Buttigieg’s home state.

“From the CNN Town hall in March to our launch a month later, we literally got 7,000 resumes,” Meagher said. “I think that he (Zuckerberg) thought Eric would be a good staff hire with a lot of experience and same with Nina.”

The news comes days after Zuckerberg defended free speech on his platform and condemned Chinese censorship.  He also defended a recently announced policy that allows politicians and political campaigns to create false of misleading content on the platform.

Zuckerberg is scheduled to testify on Wednesday before the House Financial Services Committee on Facebook’s business impact.

Facebook has come under fire from other Democratic campaigns during the election cycle, especially by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), who has called for the breakup of giant tech firms. In July, leaked audio revealed Zuckerberg called Warren an “existential” threat to the company.

Most Popular


‘Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself’

It was just one more segment to fill out the hour, and thereby fill the long 24 hours of Saturday’s cable news on November 2. Or so it seemed. Navy SEAL Mike Ritland was on the Fox News program Watters World to talk to Jesse Watters about trained German shepherds like the one used in the raid that found ... Read More
Film & TV

The Manly Appeal of Ford v Ferrari

There used to be a lot of overlap between what we think of as a Hollywood studio picture (designed to earn money) and an awards movie (designed to fill the trophy case, usually with an accompanying loss of money). Ford v Ferrari is a glorious throwback to the era when big stars did quality movies about actual ... Read More
White House

Impeachment and the Broken Truce

The contradiction at the center of American politics in Anno Domini 2019 is this: The ruling class does not rule. The impeachment dog-and-pony show in Washington this week is not about how Donald Trump has comported himself as president (grotesquely) any more than early convulsions were about refreshed ... Read More
Politics & Policy

ABC Chief Political Analyst: GOP Rep. Stefanik a ‘Perfect Example’ of the Failures of Electing Someone ‘Because They Are a Woman’

Matthew Dowd, chief political analyst for ABC News, suggested that Representative Elise Stefanik (R., N.Y.) was elected due to her gender after taking issue with Stefanik's line of questioning during the first public impeachment hearing on Wednesday. “Elise Stefanik is a perfect example of why just electing ... Read More

What Happened to California Republicans?

From 1967 to 2019, Republicans controlled the California governorship for 31 of 52 years. So why is there currently not a single statewide Republican officeholder? California also has a Democratic governor and Democratic supermajorities in both houses of the state legislature. Only seven of California’s 53 ... Read More