Facebook employees still love Sheryl Sandberg and say she shouldn't be fired

Sheryl SandbergSheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, speaks at the 2018 Code conference.Greg Sandoval/Business Insider

  • Facebook employees remain loyal to COO Sheryl Sandberg despite her involvement in scandals rocking the company.
  • Workplace chat app Blind, a hotbed for tech workers, surveyed thousands of its users about whether Sandberg should keep her job, and the bulk of Facebook respondents said she should.
  • That runs counter to wider industry sentiment, with thousands of tech workers on the app suggesting Sandberg should be fired.
  • A senior Facebook employee in Europe, Patrick Walker, told reporters last month that there had been a huge upswell of support internally for Sandberg.

Facebook employees remain loyal to Sheryl Sandberg and overwhelmingly feel she should not be fired from the company over recent scandals.

The anonymous work chat app Blind surveyed thousands of tech workers, including a smaller pool of Facebook employees, and asked them: "Should Sheryl Sandberg remain COO of Facebook?"

More than 70% of the 595 Facebook employees who answered the question said "yes."

That sentiment runs against wider industry feeling. More than 6,300 employees in wider the tech sector answered the question, and 55% said Sandberg should lose her job.

Read more: Facebook staff have voiced a 'huge upswell' of support for Sheryl Sandberg after she reportedly feared for her job, says company exec

Blind also asked more than 8,000 of its users whether recent scandals involving Sandberg had "devalued" Facebook. More than 55% of wider tech employees said they had. But again, of the 802 Facebook employees who responded, 72% said "no."

Blind ran its survey between December 1 and December 6 2018.

Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl SandbergFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl SandbergFacebook

Sandberg has been a darling of the tech industry not only as one of the few high-profile, successful women in Silicon Valley, but also for her philosophies towards work, outlined in her book "Lean In", and grief, after losing her husband David Goldberg.

But The New York Times outlined in November how Sandberg directly instructed Facebook's communications staff to investigate billionaire George Soros after he criticised the firm. Facebook also commissioned political-style "opposition research" on Soros through a Republican-linked company, Definers - although Sandberg denied knowing this.

The revelations cast both Facebook and Sandberg in a sinister light, not least because the liberal Soros is often the target of anti-Semitic, right-wing conspiracy theories.

Nonetheless, Blind's results tie in with what insiders say about continued internal loyalty to Sandberg at Facebook. Patrick Walker, one of the most senior Facebook executives outside the US, told reporters that staff had rallied around the beleaguered COO after the New York Times revelations broke.

" There's been a huge upswell of support internally for the work that Sheryl does," he told reporters. "It's a very difficult job that she's in."

Blind said it plans to run a similar survey asking its users whether Mark Zuckerberg should remain CEO of Facebook.

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