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Facebook's morale, already hurt by share drop, suffers another setback

COO Sheryl Sandberg has been accused of working behind the scenes to prevent the company's board and the public from understanding the full extent of Russia's misinformation campaign

Sarah Frier | Bloomberg 


On Thursday, employees returned to work in the aftermath of yet another corporate scandal.

The night before, the had reported that Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer (COO), worked behind the scenes to prevent the company’s board and the public from understanding the full extent of Russia’s misinformation campaign on the social network.

The employees were used to the public microscope. But this time was different, employees said: The story brought readers into boardrooms and the halls of Congress where their top executives were making questionable decisions.

At lunch, workers shuffled through the staff cafeterias at the company’s Menlo Park, California headquarters in quiet contemplation – more quiet than usual. But their phones were lighting up.

Most discussion at happens on the company’s workplace version of the social network, in various company groups.

But when the news is about Facebook’s leadership, some employees have found it easier to talk when they’re unnamed.

They used Blind, the anonymous employee chat app, to raise their concerns, according to screenshots obtained by Bloomberg.

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On Thursday, the conversations were full of outrage. How could Sandberg – and chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg – have failed to see the threat to the company? And how could they have managed all of this so poorly?

“Why does our company suck at having a moral compass?” one employee asked, in a message linked to the story.

“Zuckerberg defers too much to others on issues where he needs to make a call,’’ another said, also anonymously, in the same thread.

“I’m exhausted of cleaning up after the sloppy and careless mistakes that made so many of the people responsible for them so, so rich,” said a third.

Getting rich has been a sore subject inside recently, especially for those, like the third poster, who joined long after the 2012 IPO.

First Published: Sat, November 17 2018. 02:06 IST