Kate Patchen
Kate Patchen

Facebook hired Kate Patchen, who headed the Justice Dept.’s antitrust office in San Francisco, this month as associate general counsel for litigation matters.

The 14-year Justice Dept. veteran joins the social media giant as tech companies grapple with antitrust issues and critics blast Facebook as too big and in the need of a break-up, noted the Financial Times.

A reinvigorated Congress is expected to mount an effort to cut Facebook down to size.

Congressman David Cicilline, the Rhode Island Democrat who will chair the judiciary subcommittee on regulatory reform, commercial and antitrust law in January, ripped Facebook in the aftermath of the New York Times Nov. 14 article on the social media company’s effort to smear critics.

He tweeted that Facebook shouldn’t be trusted any longer to regulate itself and said Congress “should get to work enacting new laws to hold concentrated economic power to account.”

Embattled Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told CNN on Nov. 21 that he will not step down in the wake of the NYT article and defended COO Sheryl Sandberg as “a really important part of the company.”

Zuckerberg said he hopes to work with Sandberg “for many decades to come.”