The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Anna Zuccaro, 

UltraViolet Calls for Sheryl Sandberg to Resign

Breaking Reports Found Sandberg Used Her Influence at Meta to Cover-Up Abuse Allegations Against Ex-Boyfriend

Women’s Group Which Previously Endorsed Sandberg for Facebook’s Board of Directors Says Decision to Support Her Was A Mistake, and It’s Time for Her to Resign

According to recent reports, Meta COO Sheryl Sandberg is under fire for using her influence at Facebook to pressure the Daily Mail to halt articles exposing her then-boyfriend, Bobby Kotick, who faced a restraining order from an ex-girlfriend accusing Kotick of harassment.
In response, Shaunna Thomas, co-founder of UltraViolet, a leading national gender justice advocacy organization, issued the following statement:
"Sheryl Sandberg is keen on telling women to speak up for themselves and 'lean in,' yet when they do they are often attacked on Meta's social platform for her own (and the company's) profit. Now we know that Sandberg is also abusing her and Meta's influence to threaten others and protect her own personal brand.
"Sandberg may fancy herself a feminist, but under her leadership Facebook has become a right-wing playground where misogyny, racism, disinformation, violent organzing, and hateful conspiracy theories grow and spread. For years, Sandberg has been in an optimal position to make Facebook safer for women, but like CEO Mark Zuckerberg, she has consistently failed to take action.
"The latest reports - that Sandberg actively used her power at Meta to cover-up the abusive behavior of her ex-boyfriend, Bobby Kotick to protect her personal brand - are a final straw.
"While Sandberg is not responsible for the actions of Bobby Kotick, she is responsible for abusing her position at Meta to leverage company resources to cover-up Kotick's abuse. The fact that Sandberg used her power to silence women and protect her own image, says all you need to know about her values and priorities.
"Sheryl Sandberg must resign. Immediately."
In 2012, UltraViolet called on Facebook to put Sheryl Sandberg on its Board of Directors, but in 2020 said that campaign was a mistake, citing Sandberg's record at Facebook. This is the first time that UltraViolet has called for Sandberg's resignation.