So much for Sheryl Sandberg’s touching farewell post that Mark Zuckerberg posted just 9 days ago, when after 14 years at Facebook, now Meta Platforms, Sandberg said she was resigning from her position as COO. At the time, Zuckerberg called Sandberg’s planned departure “the end of an era” and spoke enthusiastically of her as an “incredible person, leader, partner and friend.” Today, the Wall Street Journal is reporting, for the second time since Sandberg resigned, that Facebook has been investigating Sandberg since at least the fall for possible misuse of corporate resources. Under review: Whether she had Facebook employees engaged in jobs that supported her foundation Lean In, whose mission is to foster women’s leadership and inclusion in the workplace; whether she involved Facebook staff in the writing and promotion of her second book, “Option B,” which focused on overcoming the sudden death of her husband in 2015; and finally, whether she diverted Facebook employees’ time and attention to her upcoming wedding this summer. what a monster We don’t know who is leaking the details of this investigation to the WSJ, but if “people familiar with the matter” are trying to destroy his reputation, they’re doing a comically lousy job. (We reached out to Facebook for more information earlier and haven’t heard back from the company yet.) For one thing, no one thinks Sheryl Sandberg is an angel. If ever they did, they reassessed many years ago, through numerous scandals, from Facebook’s obvious ambivalence about data privacy, to its handling of Facebook’s public relations after revelations of Russian interference in the platform. in the 2016 US presidential election. (While Zuckerberg launched an apology tour early on, he launched an aggressive lobbying campaign to combat critics of Facebook.) Clearly, it takes a certain kind of person to run a rule-breaking company like Facebook, and you can’t help but become one. of the most powerful companies in world history without getting any dirtier. Still, a new story leaked to the Journal in April managed to raise more questions about Sandberg. According to the report, Sandberg, who previously dated Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, twice lobbied a UK tabloid to shelve a possible article about him, relying on a team that included Facebook and Activision employees as well. as paid outside consultants. Many people found the possibility of Sandberg potentially using her muscle in this way disturbing. However, the most recent articles on Sandberg are different. In fact, we expect these leaks about Sandberg’s possible asset misuse investigations to come from Sandberg and her associates. Talk about brilliant machinations, if so. Think about it. At Sandberg, we have a COO at the helm, long credited with much of Facebook’s growth, who is under investigation for relying on staff to (1) nurture an organization for women, (2) write a book primarily for women on how to overcome grief and (3) being a human being who is planning a happy wedding after suffering an unimaginable loss. If Facebook really wants to take issue with Sandberg planning her wedding during work hours, so be it. But clearly, both the Lean In books and the Sandberg books, whose profits allegedly went to Lean In, were very good for Facebook’s brand when it most needed softening. Unfortunately, we don’t really think Sandberg is seeking coverage in the Journal. The most likely scenario is that there are people inside Facebook with an ax to grind. If so, his efforts to take down Sandberg may largely fail unless these internal investigations, reportedly in the wake of hiring his first chief compliance officer last year, lead to a much larger disclosure. . For now, Sandberg appears to be receiving the world’s worst send-off from a company he has spent more time with than almost any other executive apart from Zuckerberg himself. In fact, the Journal points out that it is already well known that both Sandberg and Zuckerberg use corporate resources for some personal matters. Facebook even makes “extensive disclosures” about these things in its regulatory filings, the outlet notes. Meanwhile, these slow leaks make Facebook seem petty and vengeful, even borderline absurd. As the WSJ reports: “Some within Meta close to the investigation worry about potential Securities and Exchange Commission violations if Ms. Sandberg were to use professional resources for personal matters without proper disclosures, though it remains unclear what those might be. violations, people familiar said the matter.