The Republican National Committee has hired a senior engineer at Facebook to take on the role of chief technology officer, Jon Ward of Huffington Post reports.
HuffPo has more:
Andy Barkett, 32, an engineering manager at Facebook and a California native, will head up the RNC’s efforts to make the party more competitive in the digital realm, multiple sources told HuffPost. The RNC confirmed the decision on Thursday evening. One source called the decision to hire Barkett “a relatively speedy development.” Barkett will split his time between Silicon Valley and Washington, sources said.
At Facebook, Barkett “was in charge of dozens of engineers on six production engineering teams responsible for thousands of servers and scaling systems in mobile infrastructure, messaging, advertisements, newsfeeds, platforms, and payments,” according to the RNC.
The Republicans ramped up their efforts in technology after their 2012 election failures. In March, RNC Chairman Reince Preibus announced a major overhaul of their efforts before the 2016 election — to include finding a CTO.
“We’re committed to doing what no other party committee has done by restructuring our data and digital teams to be the central focus of the RNC and integrated into everything we do,” Priebus said in a statement to TIME. “We need to change how we are communicating with every community across America and this is a big step in that direction.”
Recommendations to hire someone to lead Republican tech efforts and utilise more data tools were part of the RNC’s Growth and Opportunity Project report, released earlier this year.
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