Once praised for her outspoken avocation of women in business and even rumoured to be a future US political candidate, Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg has somewhat fallen from grace.
In the wake of recent scandals, research by anonymous survey app Blind suggests that internal tensions may now be directed at Facebook executives, with some calling for Sandberg’s resignation.
Who is Sheryl Sandberg?
Recruited by Mark Zuckerberg back in 2008, Sandberg is Facebook’s chief operating officer responsible for business operations, and was behind the company’s advertising strategy that turned it into a profitable business.
The once-popular COO is responsible for handling Facebook’s public relations after the brand has been tainted by fake news, Russian interference in elections and the collection of personal data. According to a New York Times investigation, Sandberg and others attempted to conceal Russia’s use of the social network to interfere in US politics, a claim that she denies.
As Zuckerberg appears to emerge relatively unscathed from the social media giant’s misfortunes over the past year, some believe that Sandberg has been scapegoated for the company’s wrongdoings.
Most recently, Sandberg was reportedly behind a smear campaign directed as George Soros, as well as other critics, after the billionaire investor and philanthropist publically criticised the company.
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However, despite mounting pressure Zuckerberg and the board of directors at Facebook have stood by Sandberg.
There have been calls for her resignation
Amidst a tirade of negative press coverage, there have been calls for the resignation of various higher-ups at Facebook, and according to a recent survey, this opinion is shared by many in the tech community.
According to Blind, a total of 8,972 tech employees were asked whether scandals related to Sheryl Sandberg have negatively impacted Facebook’s value, and 5.62% answered “Yes”.
Among those who answered, 802 were Facebook employees, and of these 27.06% answered “Yes.”
A second question, which 6,328 answered, asked whether Sandberg should remain as CEO, to which 6,328 answered “No”. Among 802 Facebook employees, 28.4% responded with “No”.
Internal tensions may be growing
The findings suggests that the company may be facing growing internal tensions.
A recent article by Buzzfeed claimed that the recent scandals had “inspired a clutter of leaks, finger pointing, and internal conversations about the future of the company and its leadership”, suggesting that once-loyal employees may be raising concerns over the future of the company.
In the article, one Facebook employee criticised the company’s “intense culture of conformity” and suggested that the pressure to “only talk about positive things is a reason behind the large number of leaks we suffer”.