Zients, who most recently served as Biden’s coronavirus response czar, joined Facebook’s board two months after the Cambridge Analytica scandal erupted. He then declined to seek reelection in 2020 before joining the administration.
With Zients now slated to take on one of the most powerful roles in Washington, critics on the left are re-upping their concerns that he has been too cozy with corporate interests, citing his time at Facebook as a prime example.
Jeff Hauser, whose progressive advocacy group the Revolving Door Project tracks federal picks, said that “with [former adviser] Tim Wu leaving the White House and Zients joining it,” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg “can take significant solace from the shift in Biden’s personnel.”
Wu, a prominent critic of the tech giants who has helped lead Biden’s antitrust agenda, left the White House earlier this month. He was widely seen as one of the top allies within the Biden administration for advocates pushing to rein in Silicon Valley behemoths.