Wow, Facebook really knows how to trick someone!

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So much for this touch farewell post Sheryl Sandberg, which Mark Zuckerberg posted just nine days ago when, after 14 years at Facebook — now Meta Platforms — Sandberg announced she was stepping down as COO. At the time, Zuckerberg called Sandberg’s planned departure “the end of an era” and raved about her as “an amazing person, leader, partner and friend.”

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Today, the WSJ reports — for the second time since Sandburg stepped down — that Facebook has been investigating Sandburg since at least the fall of 2019. possible misuse of corporate resources. Under consideration: whether she had Facebook employees involved in the work that supported her Lean In Foundation, whose mission is to promote women’s leadership and inclusion in the workplace; whether she engaged Facebook employees to write and promote her second book, Option B, about coping with the sudden death of her husband in 2015; and finally, whether she diverted the time and attention of Facebook staff to her upcoming wedding this summer.

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Wow. What a monster, right?

We don’t know who is leaking the details of this investigation to the WSJ, but if “people familiar with the matter” are trying to ruin her reputation, they’re doing a ridiculously lousy job. (We previously contacted Facebook for more information and have yet to receive a response from the company.)

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First, no one considers Sheryl Sandberg an angel. If they ever did, they reassessed years ago, after numerous scandals, from Facebook’s apparent ambivalence about data privacy to its handling of Facebook’s public relations following the exposure of Russia’s meddling in the platform during the presidential election. in the US in 2016. (Although Zuckerberg initially staged an apology tour, she launched an aggressive lobbying campaign against Facebook critics.)

Obviously, it takes a certain type of people to run a rule-breaking company like Facebook, and you can’t help it grow into one of the most powerful companies in world history without polluting it even more. However, a newer story leaked to the magazine in April succeeded in raising questions about Sandberg even more. According to the report, Sandberg, who previously met with Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, twice insisted that the British tabloid shelve a potential story about him, relying on a team that included both Facebook and Activision employees, as well as paid external consultants.

Many were concerned about the possibility that Sandberg could potentially use his muscles in this way. But the latest articles on Sandberg are very different. In fact, we hope these leaks about investigations into potential misuse of Sandberg’s assets come from Sandberg and her associates. Talk about brilliant shenanigans, if so.

Think about it. At Sandburg, we have a powerful COO, a woman who has long been seen as a significant part of Facebook’s growth and is under investigation for relying on employees to a) create an organization for women, b) write a book about overcoming grief. , primarily for women, and in .) being a person who plans a joyful wedding after an unimaginable loss.

If Facebook really wants to object to Sandberg planning a wedding during work hours, so be it. softening.

Alas, we don’t really think Sandburg is looking for coverage in The Magazine. A more likely scenario is that there are people inside Facebook who want to work. If so, their efforts to take down Sandberg could backfire, unless these internal investigations are reportedly the result of hiring her first Compliance Director last year led to much more disclosure.

At this point, Sandberg is likely to receive the world’s worst firing from a company to which she has remained loyal longer than almost any other executive except Zuckerberg himself. In fact, The Journal notes, it is already well known that both Sandberg and Zuckerberg use corporate resources to resolve some personal issues. Facebook even makes “extensive disclosures” about these things in its regulations, the newspaper notes.

Meanwhile, these slow leaks make Facebook seem petty and vengeful—even bordering on the absurd. According to the WSJ: “Some at Meta close to the investigation are concerned about potential SEC violations if Ms. Sandberg used professional resources for personal matters without proper disclosure, although it is not yet clear what such violations might be.” , familiar people with this said.

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