Facebook’s crises this year has put immense pressure on Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, undermining her authority and tainting an image that was burnished by the social-media company’s meteoric rise.
Some of her staff, who saw the executive as larger than life, now blame her for Facebook’s woes. At times, Sheryl prioritized her own brand over Facebook’s; surrounded herself with trusted lieutenants who filtered bad news; and didn’t address problems quickly enough or treated them as perception issues not opportunities for real change.
Ever since the 2016 presidential election, Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg has been criticized for his failure to understand the potential downsides of Facebook’s products. Sandberg escaped direct scrutiny until a New York Times report earlier this month linked some of Facebook’s current woes to her decisions. From now on, “she is always going to be tainted,” said one Facebook worker. The person asked not to be identified for fear of losing their job.