Meta's Investigation of Sheryl Sandberg Goes Back Several Years, Report Says

The COO is being probed over whether she used company resources for her personal projects.

Corinne Reichert Senior Writer
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently oversees the CNET breaking news desk for the West Coast. Corinne covers everything from phones, social media and security to movies, politics, 5G and pop culture. In her spare time, she watches soccer games, F1 races and Disney movies.
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Corinne Reichert

Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg speaks on stage at the Digital Life Design innovation conference.

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Meta Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg is being investigated by the company's lawyers for her use of corporate resources over the past few years, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday, citing unnamed sources.

The investigation is reportedly into whether Sandberg used Facebook staff to work on her personal projects, including her second book, her Lean In foundation and her second wedding. The scrutiny has been ongoing since last fall, the report said, with multiple Meta employees being questioned.

The news follows an April article in the Journal that said Sandberg is facing an internal review by Facebook's parent company over reports she pressured UK tabloid Daily Mail to ditch articles about her former partner, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick. According to that report, Sandberg contacted the Daily Mail in 2016 and 2019 to prevent stories about Kotick from being published. Sandberg reportedly worked alongside employees from Facebook and Activision and outside advisers to pressure the UK publication. 

"Sheryl Sandberg never threatened the MailOnline's business relationship with Facebook in order to influence an editorial decision," a Meta company spokesperson told CNET in an emailed statement at the time.

Sandberg said last week that she's leaving the social media company in the fall, though she'll remain on the board of directors. 

Meta didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.