Zoom adds ex-Trump adviser, tech lobbyist to PR push


FILE PHOTO: A 3D printed Zoom logo is placed on the keyboard in this illustration taken April 12, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

(Reuters) – Zoom Video Communications Inc on Wednesday named former White House National Security Adviser HR McMaster to its board and hired the policy chief of one of the tech world’s big lobby groups to drive governmental relations as it poured more money into improving its image on security.

Jonathan Kallmer, who takes over as head of Global Public Policy and Government Relations at the company as it battles complaints about security and privacy while user numbers surge, was most recently executive vice president for policy at the Information Technology Industry Council, which represents major tech firms.

McMaster, a former army lieutenant general, was President Donald Trump’s national security adviser for just over 12 months in 2017 and 2018 before resigning and retiring from the army.

As corporations and schools shift to remote work and billions of people are subject to stay-at-home orders seek ways to remain connected, Zoom has seen daily participants on its video chats soar into the hundreds of millions.

It has also experienced a backlash as the increased use exposed privacy and security flaws.

Last month, the company hired former Facebook security chief Alex Stamos as the public face of a crack team aimed at quelling the row.

Reporting by Abhishek Manikandan in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel

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