New Facebook India head Ajit Mohan had served UPA govt

'For those who are unaware, new Facebook India head Ajit Mohan's Wharton Connection is interesting since that's where he became friends with Kanishka Singh. Who is Kanishka Singh? He is a political aide and closest man to Congress President Rahul Gandhi.' This was revealed on Twitter.

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New Delhi: Facebook announced on Monday that it has appointed former Hotstar executive Ajit Mohan as Vice-President and Managing Director of its India operations. Twitter erupted on receiving this news as Mohan had served the “Sonia Gandhi-led UPA”, tweeted the handle @LegalKant.

While the handle has a modest following, the tweet attracted a disproportionately high number of retweets, echoing Facebook users’ apprehension of political bias in dealing with posts in the news feed.

In the newly created role, Mohan will be responsible for aligning teams and driving Facebook’s overall strategy in India, the US-based company said in a statement.

The Twitter handle above rubbed it in further by drawing a tenuous link between Mohan and Congress president Rahul Gandhi:

The insinuation assumes significance in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal of Facebook. What makes it worse particularly for Indian users of Facebook is the medium’s Congress connection via Cambridge Analytica.

Whistleblower Christopher Wylie had revealed earlier this year that the Indian National Congress was one of the clients of Cambridge Analytica.

Ajit Mohan, who?

The wariness of conservatives notwithstanding, Mohan cannot be said to have had an uninspiring professional history. Born in Kochi, he has an MBA in finance from the Wharton School. He worked at McKinsey & Co, the global consulting firm, concentrating on media projects that required him to work closely with film and TV studios, production companies, children’s entertainment companies, women’s apparel and footwear, and online gaming.

Mohan returned to India in 2008 as a fellow at the McKinsey Global Institute, and in the following years worked with the ministry of urban development and the Planning Commission as well as the International Centre for Research on Women. It was a conscious switch to the public sector, he said.

“It is a unique opportunity to shape the agenda of a company that has brought the world closer together in one of the most exciting markets in the world. I look forward to championing India in Facebook and working with stakeholders across the spectrum to help build deep and meaningful communities across the country,” Mohan said.

Mohan’s tryst with communities, organisations, businesses and policymakers was one of the key factors considered by Facebook. Mohan will join Facebook India early next year.

Mohan joins Facebook from streaming platform Hotstar, where he was the CEO.

In October last year, Umang Bedi had stepped down from the India MD position and Sandeep Bhushan was named as the interim MD. Since then, the company has restructured operations in India.