It’s de rigeur to bash Facebook these days, with no shortage of reasons from undermining democracy to stoking racial tensions in the developing world. Who’s to blame? Founder Mark Zuckerberg, in his role as CEO, obviously has to be accountable. But his number two, who has been the subject of fawning articles over the years, appears to be a major culprit. From the New York Times:
Sheryl Sandberg asked Facebook’s communications staff to research George Soros’s financial interests in the wake of his high-profile attacks on tech companies, according to three people with knowledge of her request, indicating that Facebook’s second in command was directly involved in the social network’s response to the liberal billionaire.
Ms. Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, asked for the information in an email to a senior executive in January that was forwarded to other senior communications and policy staff, the people said. The email came within days of a blistering speech Mr. Soros delivered that month at the World Economic Forum, attacking Facebook and Google as a “menace” to society and calling for the companies to be regulated.
Sheryl Sandberg managed to jump on a rocket ship when she joined Facebook in 2008 to provide guidance to a young leadership group. I have no idea whether she’s been effective or not, but various profiles and features have lionized her and given her ample credit for Facebook’s incredible success.
In light of the scandals swirling around Facebook, her judgment, if not all of her “accomplishments”, should be questioned. The attacks on Soros, which entered the realm of anti-Semitism, speak volumes of her character. If she’s done what she’s accused of doing, she’s unworthy of her position and should never have similar power in any other company ever again.