In Latest Facebook Scandal, Sheryl Sandberg Leans Backward


Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook is in the news again, this time facing allegations in a lawsuit that she knew the company was overestimating and misrepresenting its projected advertising numbers — and failed to disclose that fact to clients for years.

It’s amazing the downward trajectory Sandberg’s reputation has taken in just a few years. Here in Silicon Valley, she was initially seen as supremely competent, the real architect of Facebook’s explosive success, and — most of all — the lone adult at the company who kept Mark Zuckerberg in check. Then, in 2013, she published Lean In and became a national phenomenon, the heroine and role model to millions of young women struggling to make it in the business world. There seemed no limit to her career; there were even whispers of her becoming the first woman POTUS.

But then, especially after her Congressional testimony and some other comments that made her sound less like a paragon of character and more just a shill for her company, the attitude in tech was modified to: “Well, she’s just doing what she has to do in her job. But she’s still a person of character.” You know, kind of like a mob lawyer: defending bad behavior, but not participating in it.

Now, with these revelations, she’s being exposed not as a mob lawyer, but a consigliere in the mob itself. I wonder what all of those young ladies think about her now?

Published in Business
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  1. SkipSul Inactive

    Nemesis is inexorable.

    • #1
  2. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator

    Maybe you remember this better than I do, but wasn’t she a major player back in 2013 when Obama called the big social media companies together to talk about how to control narratives to fight terrorism (which at the time I predicted would include political activism by terrorists like ourselves)?  

    • #2
  3. Michael S. Malone Contributor
    Michael S. Malone

    If I remember correctly, yes.  And her book came out later that year.

    • #3
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