Wow, Facebook certainly knows how to send someone go in style!

News Sand DC
Source: Getty Images

So much for Mark Zuckerberg's emotional goodbye post to Sheryl Sandberg, who announced her resignation from her role as COO after a 14-year stint at Facebook – now Meta Platforms — just 9 days ago. Sandberg's anticipated exit was dubbed "the end of an era" by Zuckerberg, who praised her as a "great person, leader, collaborator, and friend" at the time.

The Wall Street Journal reported today — for the second time since Sandberg left — that Facebook has been investigating Sandberg for suspected misuse of business resources since at least the autumn.

Whether she had Facebook employees involved in work that supported her Lean In foundation, whose mission is to foster women's leadership and workplace inclusion; whether she drew Facebook employees into the writing and promotion of her second book, "Option B," about overcoming the sudden death of her husband in 2015; and, finally, whether she diverted Facebook employees' time and attention to her upcoming wedding this summer.

What a monstrosity.

We don't know who is leaking information of this probe to the WSJ, but if the "people familiar with the case" are attempting to smear her name, they're doing a laughably poor job of it. (We contacted Facebook for further information earlier and have yet to get a response.)

For starters, hardly one considers Sheryl Sandberg to be an angel. If they ever did, it was many years ago, after a slew of controversies ranging from Facebook's clear ambivalence about data protection to her management of the company's public relations following allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. (At first, Zuckerberg went on a public apology tour, but soon after, she began an aggressive lobbying push to counter Facebook's criticisms.)

It clearly takes a certain sort of individual to lead a rule-breaking organisation like Facebook, and you can't help but think that as it grows into one of the most powerful corporations in history, it will get more dirtier. Nonetheless, a recent report leaked to the Journal in April raised more suspicions about Sandberg. According to the story, Sandberg, who formerly dated Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, repeatedly lobbied a British tabloid to put a possible feature about him on hold, enlisting the help of a group that comprised Facebook and Activision employees as well as paid outside consultants.

Many individuals were disturbed by the idea that Sandberg might use her power in this way. The most recent pieces on Sandberg, on the other hand, are rather different. In fact, we're hoping that these leaks regarding Sandberg's possible wealth misappropriation are coming from Sandberg and her colleagues. If that's the case, talk about amazing manipulations.

Consider that for a moment. Sandberg, a powerful female COO who has long been credited with much of Facebook's growth, is under investigation for relying on staff to (1) nurture an organisation for women, (2) write a book primarily for women about overcoming grief, and (3) be a human planning a joyful wedding after suffering unimaginable loss.

So be it if Facebook wants to make a fuss about Sandberg arranging her wedding on business time. However, both Lean In and Sandberg's books — the earnings of which were apparently donated to Lean In — were plainly beneficial to Facebook's image at a time when it was in desperate need of softening.

Unfortunately, we don't believe Sandberg is actively pursuing coverage in the Journal. The most plausible explanation is that there are individuals within Facebook who have a vendetta against the company. If that's the case, their efforts to bring Sandberg down might backfire spectacularly unless these internal investigations — purportedly the result of the company's appointment of its first chief compliance officer last year — result in a far greater revelation.

For the time being, Sandberg appears to be getting the world's worst send-off from a firm to which she remained committed for longer than virtually any other CEO, with the exception of Zuckerberg himself. In fact, the Journal points out that both Sandberg and Zuckerberg are well-known for using business resources for personal affairs. According to the source, Facebook provides "extensive disclosures" regarding these topics in its regulatory filings.

Meanwhile, the delayed disclosures portray Facebook as petty and vengeful, bordering on ludicrous. "Some at Meta close to the probe are concerned about potential Securities and Exchange Commission breaches if Ms. Sandberg exploited professional resources for personal concerns without proper disclosures," the WSJ says.

#buttons=(Accept !) #days=(20)

Our website uses cookies to enhance your experience. Learn More
Accept !