Meta's Sandberg was under review for personal use of corporate resources, report says

Long-time number two executive at Facebook's parent company resigned this week

Sheryl Sandberg is stepping down as chief operating officer of Meta after 14 years with the company. Getty Images
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Meta's outgoing chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, who announced her resignation this week, was allegedly facing an investigation about her use of corporate resources to help plan her upcoming wedding, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Ms Sandberg, the long-time number two executive at Facebook's parent company, said on Wednesday she was stepping down from her role after 14 years, citing personal reasons.

The review into whether she was using company resources for her wedding planning was ongoing as of May, the newspaper reported, citing sources. The senior executive is engaged to Tom Bernthal, founder and chief executive of a consulting firm.

Ms Sandberg also reportedly faced reviews about personal incidents in the past, including allegedly pressuring UK tabloid The Daily Mail to shelve a story about her former partner Bobby Kotick, the chief executive of Activision Blizzard, and a temporary restraining order he faced.

“None of this has anything to do with her personal decision to leave,” Caroline Nolan, a Meta spokeswoman, told the WSJ.

Ms Nolan also told the paper that the matter related to Mr Kotick had been resolved.

Ms Sandberg, 52, who joined Facebook from Google, helped to build the company's online advertising operation and expand it into a multiplatform major that attracted more than $120 billion in sales last year.

She also defended the company during scandals under her watch, such as the 2016 US presidential election and the Cambridge Analytica scandal, as well as the spread of misinformation and failures of oversight.

Ms Sandberg, who will remain on Meta’s board, has been feeling "burnt out" after being "targeted" for the company's problems, the WSJ reported.

“When I took this job in 2008, I hoped I would be in this role for five years,” Ms Sandberg said in a post on Facebook announcing her resignation.

“Fourteen years later, it is time for me to write the next chapter of my life."

She plans to leave the company in the autumn and focus on her foundation and philanthropic work.

“I am not entirely sure what the future will bring — I have learnt no one ever is," she said.

Ms Sandberg is leaving as Meta shifts its focus to products that enable the virtual reality-driven metaverse, which require a significant evolution of its business model.

Updated: June 03, 2022, 12:31 PM