Zoom has hired former national security adviser H.R. McMaster to serve on its board as an independent director, the company announced Wednesday, its most high-profile hire of a former government official to date.The move is the latest in a series of additions by Zoom to bolster its ties to Washington as it faces new headwinds during the coronavirus pandemic due to surging demand.AdvertisementZoom has been blasted by lawmakers and regulators for failing to adequately safeguard its service from privacy and security risks, as well as targeted harassment on the platform. The company has also faced heavy criticism for temporarily routing calls through China, raising concerns about the security of its systems. Zoom has said the move was a mistake and the calls were supposed to have been routed through other countries.
McMaster, a retired Army lieutenant general, served under the Trump administration until his abrupt and public ouster in 2018 after a little more than a year as the 26th national security adviser.
“My goal is to help the company navigate rapid growth and assist in meeting Zoom’s commitment to becoming the world’s most secure video communications platform,” McMaster said in a statement.
A Zoom spokesperson told POLITICO that the company has also hired two additional consulting firms — American Continental Group and The Cohen Group — to bolster its D.C. outreach. Another high-ranking former Trump administration official, former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, serves as senior counselor for The Cohen Group.
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The company today also formally announced the hire of Josh Kallmer, a veteran tech trade group official, to lead its public policy shop, as previously reported by POLIT0.
By Christiano Lima, May 6, 2020; Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images