Sheryl Sandberg has been a staple at Facebook and Meta for years, but the executive is now accused of improperly using company resources to help Activision CEO Bobby Kotick.
Kotick has been under fire for allegedly knowing about, and turning a blind eye to, sexual harassment and discrimination issues within Activision. According to The Wall Street Journal, Sandberg was dating Kotick when reporters were investigating him. During this time, Sandberg allegedly worked with Kotick to pressure Daily Mail reporters to drop their investigation.
Sandberg, who serves as Meta’s Chief Operating Officer, worked with a team comprised of Facebook and Activision employees, as well as paid outside consultants. In both 2016 and 2019, Sandberg contacted Daily Mail to dispute elements of their reporting.
While many do not believe Sandberg directly threatened Daily Mail in either interaction, some believe any contact by the executive could be viewed as a threat, given the power Facebook wields over the news industry and the traffic it relies on.
A spokesperson for Meta gave the following statement to WSJ:
“Sheryl Sandberg never threatened the MailOnline’s business relationship with Facebook in order to influence an editorial decision.”
Despite the statement, the company is clearly concerned of some impropriety, and is now investigating whether Sandberg crossed a line.