Employees at Facebook are fuming at COO Sheryl Sandberg for after they were thrown under the bus over a smear campaign targeting the company’s critics, including the billionaire George Soros, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Last week, a bombshell New York Times report exposed the company’s chaotic leadership, and detailed Facebook’s involvement with a public-relations firm called Definers Public Affairs, which it said disseminated research to journalists linking the billionaire George Soros to anti-Facebook movements in the wake of fallout over the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Though Sandberg, 49, has long had broad control over the Facebook teams that control communications and policy, both she and CEO Mark Zuckerberg have denied knowledge of the company’s involvement with Definers. Zuckerberg directly blamed Facebook’s communications team, and Sandberg admitted that she “should have” known that the firm was hired and the nature of the work they were conducting.
Sources familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal that many people on teams under Sandberg’s watch were angry over Sandberg’s comments, given how closely Sandberg managed Facebook’s media strategy, even involving herself in wording changes.
On Friday, Sandberg said during an internal Q&A session that she took full responsibility for the communications team and their actions, the Journal added.
Facebook cut ties with Definers less than 24 hours after The Times’ story broke.
Zuckerberg blamed Sandberg for public outcry over the Cambridge Analytica scandal earlier this year, sources told the Journal, contributing to confrontations with Sandberg and other top Facebook executives.
Isobel Asher Hamilton contributed to this report.