Washington Post chief joins Facebook

LONDON - Social networking site Facebook has turned to The Washington Post's chief executive Don Graham to help guide and shape its future role as a global media service.

Facebook: new director joins
Facebook: new director joins

The stalwart newspaper man, who will retain his position as CEO and chairman of the board of the Washington Post Company, has agreed to join Facebook's board of directors from the start of 2009.

Since its launch in February 2004, Facebook has played a major part in the evolving digital landscape of web 2.0 and now claims to have more than 120 million users around the world.  

Graham said the site "has completely transformed how people interact" and added that founder Mark Zuckerberg's sense of what it can achieve "is quite remarkable".

Zuckerberg said: "Don Graham understands how to build and manage an organisation for the long term. He has made The Washington Post Company one of the most valued and respected education and media companies, while making society more open and understanding.

"What I most admire about Don is his commitment to build around this purpose - and not just a business. His decision to join our board means that Facebook will benefit from this insight and experience."

In the UK, Facebook was Google's most searched for term in 2008, ahead of the BBC, YouTube and eBay.

On the board, Graham will sit alongside Zuckerberg, Marc Andreessen of Ning, Jim Breyer of Accel Partners and Peter Thiel of Clrium Capital and Founder Fund.

He has enjoyed a long and illustrious career at The Washington Post since joining as a reporter in 1971. He held several news and business positions at the newspaper and at Newsweek magazine before being named executive vice-president and general manager of the newspaper in 1976 and then as publisher from 1979 to 2000.

He has been CEO since 1991 and was elected chairman of the board in 2000.

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