Facebook’s first general counsel participates in
hackathons, runs races, and brings the legal and
engineering teams together
BY JOE MULLICH
PHOTOGRAPHY BY GREGORY COWLEY
WHEN TED ULLYOT WAS NAMED GENERAL COUNSEL OF
Facebook in 2008, some Wall Street analysts were puzzled, and
many employees of the social networking company were wary.
Ullyot was a Washington, D.C., attorney with deep ties to the
Republican Party—he’d clerked for Supreme Court Justice Antonin
Scalia, served as associate counsel to President George W. Bush
and served as the White House deputy staff secretary during the
Bush administration. This strongly conservative pedigree put him
on a different side of the aisle from some Facebook staffers, who
were concerned about how his personality would mesh with others
at the company.
The blogosphere caught fire. One blogger wrote an entry titled
“Ask Facebook to de-friend Ted Ullyot!” A small protest group
of general Facebook users even launched a page on the social
network demanding the company fire Ullyot, citing Ullyot’s tenure
as “the right-hand man” of controversial Attorney General Alberto
Gonzales (Ullyot was the first chief of staff to Gonzales).
“I became controversial when they announced my hiring, which
was very weird,” Ullyot says. “[The bloggers declared] ‘ This guy
is sort of a Zelig character, this Forrest Gump, who’s there when
all the scandals took place.’ I all of sudden became the guy who
AT TORNE YS SELECTED TO SUPER LAW YERS WERE CHOSEN IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROCESS ON PAGE 8.