A week after Sheryl Sandberg announced that she would step down from her position as Meta's Chief Operating Officer, the Facebook parent is investigating her use of company resources over several years, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
The investigation is reportedly focused on the extent to which Meta personnel worked on Sandberg's personal projects – Lean In, her foundation which advocates for women, as well as Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy, her second book.
Meta's lawyers have already interviewed several employees as a part of the review, which began late last year, the report suggests.
The investigation also involved looking into Sandberg’s use of company resources to help plan her summer wedding to consultant Tom Bernthal, WSJ had previously reported.
Review 'Irked' Sandberg
Sandberg is stepping down as the COO of Meta this fall, after spending 14 years as second-in-command at the company. She said she will focus her time and effort towards her philanthropic ventures.
She will continue to serve on Meta's board of directors and the company's current Chief Growth Officer Javier Olivan will take her job.
While the ongoing investigation "irked" Sandberg, it did not play any role in her decision to exit the company, people close to her told The Wall Street Journal.
Sandberg and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg both make use of corporate resources for some personal matters, about which company already makes disclosures.
However company insiders were reportedly worried that if resources were used for personal projects without proper disclosures, it could amount to Securities and Exchange Commission violations.
Sandberg could also be asked to repay the company for employee time spent on her own work, they told The Wall Street Journal.
“Sheryl did not inappropriately use company resources in connection with the planning of her wedding,” her spokesperson told the publication.
Company insiders suggested that Sandberg’s power within Meta had seemingly eroded in recent years which may have made it easier for internal complaints to be raised against her.
While Sandberg was largely responsible for growing Facebook's advertising business, she was also involved in the Cambridge Analytica scandal and other controversies that have plagued Meta through the years.
She was part of a coordinated effort between 2016 and 2019 to prevent the Daily Mail from publishing a story about a restraining order against Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick by a former girlfriend, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The two were reportedly dating at the time.
Facebook, after the news broke, reportedly started a review of her actions and whether her conduct violated any company rules. The results of this review, if any, were never made public.
(With inputs from The Wall Street Journal)