Sheryl Sandberg, the former chief operating officer of Facebook parent Meta, announced on Wednesday that she was stepping down from her role at the company after 14 years. In the post announcing her departure, Sandberg spoke about her journey and helped grow the company from a small startup to the social media giant it is today.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg called her departure “the end of an era” and hailed her as the architect of the company’s advertising business, which remains Meta’s largest revenue stream. But not all netizens were kind enough to Sandberg, who was widely viewed as Zuckerberg’s proxy at the company.
Mally Skok, an interior designer, slammed Sandberg and tweeted about how she let people down by not standing up to Zuckerberg. Skok called Facebook a “destroyer of democracy” in the same tweet. She appears to be referring to the rampant spread of fake news on the platform and her alleged contribution to the January 6 riot in the US Capitol. Facebook later suspended then-US President Donald Trump’s account after it was found he had fomented violence during the uprising.
you let us down #sherylsandberg – you didn’t bend for all of us women or for humanity, you never reined in that little cunt, and now the whole world is upside down. #facebook is a destroyer of democracy. https://t.co/Ywf5swpLwT
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— Mally Skok (@mallyskok) June 1, 2022
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Amrita Bhinder, an Indian lawyer, columnist and spokesperson for The Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, tweeted that Sandberg was under scrutiny after the documents leaked by whistleblower Frances Haugen were turned over to Congress. Haugen was a product manager at Meta before becoming a whistleblower, accusing Meta of allowing online hate and extremism on their platforms but failing to protect children from harmful content. Haugen said the company lacks any incentive to fix the problems.
Sheryl Sandberg is stepping down as Facebook’s chief operating officer
Recently, Sandberg and Facebook have faced increased scrutiny after leaked documents by whistleblower Frances Haugen were turned over to Congress and released by a number of news outlets.https://t.co/rPolYaqSMG
— Amrita Bhinder 🇮🇳 (@amritabhinder) June 1, 2022
Andrea Nepori, a Berlin-based multimedia journalist, said there was an internal investigation into Sheryl Sandberg for allegedly pressuring the Daily Mail over a story about her former partner and Activision CEO Bobby Kotick. Nepori also shared a link to a WSJ article reporting how she pressured the Daily Mail
In case you missed it, there was an ongoing internal investigation #SherylSandberg at Meta before retiring. She is said to have pressured the DailyMail over a story about her ex-boyfriend, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick. https://t.co/IcA5LpHyff
– Andrea Nepori (@AndreaNepori) June 2, 2022
But not everyone was harsh on Sandberg in reacting to her departure. “This 2020 Q+A with #SherylSandberg is so timely today. She took grief, resilience and hope seriously,” tweeted Marguerite Ward, a reporter for Business Insider. Ward shared a link to Sandberg to her 2020 interview in which she shared her experience of dealing with grief during the pandemic.
— Marguerite Ward (@ForWardist) June 1, 2022
Akshobh Giridharadas, a Washington-based journalist, tweeted that he has been a Sandberg fan for over a decade. Giridharadas tweeted twice about how Sandberg reacted to his cold emails. He also described Sandberg as “lovable,” despite Meta’s reputation.
I was a #SherylSandberg Fan for over a decade. My fandom was codified when I emailed her and she replied, not once but twice. Had the privilege of interviewing her late husband Dave Goldberg. Despite Meta’s reputation, she was always lovely. https://t.co/wk80YTHOKt
— Akshobh Giridharadas (@Akshobh) June 1, 2022
Bob Clark, the CEO of a construction company, congratulated Sandberg and spoke about admiring the COO for her “great work” at Meta and wishing her the best in the next chapter of her life.
— Marguerite Ward (@ForWardist) June 1, 2022
Journalist Kumutha Ramanathan retweeted a video of analyst Brian Weiser speaking about her work at Google and Facebook, and spoke about how Sandberg was dubbed an “adult in the space” during her tenure at the social media giant.
— Kumutha Ramanathan (@KumuthaRam) June 2, 2022
In the Facebook post announcing the departure, Sandberg said she will focus more on her foundation once she officially leaves the company this fall. After her departure, she will continue to serve on Meta’s board of directors.