The Wall Street Journal reports that Meta is investigating former COO Sheryl Sandberg’s use of professional resources for personal matters over several years.
It comes just a week after Sandberg announced her resignation from the social media giant to spend more time on charitable efforts.
When Sandberg first announced her departure, the Wall Street Journal reported that the company was considering whether it had improperly used company resources in planning its upcoming wedding to Chancellor Tom Berthal.
Lawyers are also looking into Sandberg’s behavior years earlier. Including how Facebook employees helped with work related to her foundation called Lean In as well as helping her promote her second book. Sandberg credited several Facebook employees for the thank you section of her second book.
Meta interviewed several employees as part of a review that began last fall. The review upset Sandberg but played no role in her decision to leave the company later this year.
A spokeswoman for Sandberg told the newspaper last week that she did not improperly use company resources in connection with her wedding planning.
The newspaper reported that Meta employees have helped Sandberg on her book tours as well as her foundation and family affairs.
Some critics have raised concerns about Sandberg’s use of professional resources for a while. There is also concern that Sandberg’s use of company resources to perform personal duties may lead to violations by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
But it is not clear what these penalties are. Sandberg may have to reimburse the company for the time employees worked on its personal affairs.
Meta review focuses on employee work on her personal projects
After announcing her resignation from META while remaining on the company’s board of directors, Sandberg said she had enjoyed her time at META for 14 years, but that left her little room for many other things.
She added that she wanted more control over what she did with her time each day. While she told her friends and colleagues that she was tired of serving as a wall in the face of critics of the social media giant.
Facebook is also investigating Sandberg’s actions after reports in April that she pressured the online edition of the Daily Mail not to publish an article about her ex-boyfriend Bobby Kotik, CEO of Activision Blizzard.
The report says Sandberg worked with Facebook and Activision Blizzard employees as well as outside consultants to pressure the newspaper not to talk about a 2014 temporary restraining order against Kotik obtained by his ex-girlfriend.
The Daily Mail did not publish the story. A Meta spokesperson said at the time: “Sandberg has never threatened the Daily Mail’s business relationship with Facebook in order to influence an editorial decision. Sandberg did not use her influence to pressure the newspaper.
The investigation indicates how much Sandberg’s position within the company has changed in recent years. Sandberg’s power within the company appears to have eroded in recent years. And it became easy for internal critics to raise concerns about its management.
Both Sandberg and Zuckerberg’s personal lives were closely linked to the company. META spends millions of dollars each year on personal security and travel expenses.
Both executives have hired Facebook employees to help with personal projects. Sandberg’s now facing scrutiny of these measures shows how waning their impact has been.