Facebook has a new board member: Jeff Zients, the CEO of Cranemere Group Limited, a holding company for “outstanding businesses in the United States and Europe,” according to the firm’s website.
Zients was also the “Director of the National Economic Council for President Obama” for three years until early 2017, according to Facebook’s blog post announcing his new role.
Zients will take over the board seat recently vacated by WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum, who announced last week that he was leaving Facebook. Koum is giving up his Facebook board seat, which he took almost four years ago when Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion.
Zients is the second new board member for Facebook so far this year. Former American Express CEO Ken Chenault, who was also the company’s first nonwhite director, joined the board in January.
Facebook’s board is a bit unique in that it doesn’t have much power — at least not technically. Directors are obvious advisers to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and as we’ve seen before, they can provide a lot of counsel in Facebook matters and in personal ones, like Zuckerberg’s philanthropic endeavors.
But Zuckerberg still has the majority voting power at the company, which means his decisions ultimately go. Facebook will renew all of its board members for another year at the company’s annual shareholder meeting at the end of the month.