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Ex-Clinton press secretary to leave full-time gig at Facebook

Former White House press secretary Joe Lockhart decides he doesn't want to move from the East Coast and will switch to a consulting role at the social network, according to reports.

Joe Lockhart
George Washington University

Facebook Vice President of Global Communications Joe Lockhart is leaving his full-time position at the social network and will switch to a consulting role, according to reports.

The high-profile Washington, D.C., insider wants to spend more time on the East Coast, where he's been living during the last 15 months he's worked for Facebook, according to news reports.

Lockhart was making frequent trips to Facebook's headquarters in California, according to Politico.

A Facebook spokeswoman confirmed the news, saying Lockhart will continue to advise the company from afar.

"The company understands Joe's desire to remain on the East Coast and looks forward to continuing to work with him and benefit from his counsel," she said.

Lockhart, a White House press secretary during the Clinton Administration, joined Facebook in July 2011.

His departure comes as Facebook struggles with its new status as a public company. Facebook's move last year to hire someone of Lockhart's caliber was the social network's way of showing the business world it was a serious company, and having an executive with political ties and experience would obviously also help the company make inroads in D.C.

Prior to Facebook, Lockhart co-founded the Glover Park Group, a communications firm that specializes in political and media strategy. Before he was in politics full-time, he worked in the ad agency world serving high-profile clients like Coca-Cola. Even earlier in his career, he was a television reporter for networks including CNN and ABC.