NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

Facebook

is in talks to hire Robert Gibbs, President Obama's ex-White House press secretary, for a senior communications role,

The New York Times

reported.

The social networking company is seeking to hire Gibbs ahead of an initial public offering planned for early 2012, said people briefed on the negotiations, the

Times

reported.

Facebook's talks with Gibbs are at an early stage and no formal offer has been made.

Gibbs, who left the White House in February after working two years for the president, had been planning to help establish Obama's re-election campaign before taking a private sector job, the people told the

Times

.

Facebook, however, is pressing Gibbs to consider the job more quickly.

Details of his Gibbs' potential compensation package have yet to be discussed, people briefed on the talks said, but he would receive a cash salary as well as shares ahead of the initial offering. Some investors value Facebook at around $60 billion.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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Joseph Woelfel

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