Sheryl Sandberg officially stepped down from her position as COO of Meta in August, but the company will continue to pay for her personal security through 2023. Reuters reports. The board of directors, which called “continuing threats to her security,” agreed to pay for security services from October 1 to June 30, 2023, with protection for Sandberg in her homes and while she travels.
It is unclear what threats Sandberg has received that would cause the company to pay for continued protection after she resigned. We’ve asked Meta for comment and will update this story if the company chooses to flesh it out.
Sheryl Sandberg joined Meta in 2008, and her last official day as an employee was September 30. Going forward, she will continue to serve on Meta’s board and receive compensation as a non-employee director. Although Sandberg apparently resigned voluntarily, her final chapter at the company was marred by personal scandal. Earlier this year, The Wall Street Journal reported that Sandberg was using company assets to kill off negative reporting about Activision CEO Bobby Kotick, who she was dating at the time.
Two months later, the log also reported that Meta had launched an internal investigation into Sandberg’s use of company assets, and that the investigation actually goes back “several years.” In addition to the allegations about protecting Kotick from negative press, Sandberg is also reportedly under investigation for possibly using company funds to pay for her 2022 marriage. Meta-lawyers are also reportedly investigating whether and how Facebook employees helped Sandberg and her foundation, Lean In, promote her latest book, Option B.
Sandberg’s last years on the job were also marked by a series of corporate crises, including the Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2019; allegations of enabling genocide in Myanmar; shrinking sales earlier this year; and a change last year in iOS’s approach to third-party app tracking that undermines the core of Meta’s business model.
It is not uncommon for Facebook to invest heavily in personal safety for its top executives. In 2020, the company reportedly spent $23.4 million in 2020 to protect CEO Mark Zuckerberg. However, the board’s announcement on Friday comes days after Meta reportedly suspended all hires, warning of potential layoffs on the way, sparking some potentially inconvenient optics.
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