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Board member who requested Facebook to investigate Soros will leave Meta’s board

After 12 years, Sheryl Sandberg is about to step down from her position on the Meta’s board of directors. Her term ends in May and she won’t run for a seat again (via Reuters).

“Meta business is strong and well-positioned for the future, so this feels like the right time to step away,” Sandberg said in a Facebook post, adding that she will serve as an adviser to the company. Mark Zuckerberg responded to her promise and said he’s looking forward to “a new chapter together”.

In addition to the 12 years on Meta’s board, Sandberg was the company’s chief operating officer for a total of 14 years. She stepped down from that position in 2022. The once second-in-command to founder Zuckerberg, Sandberg was one of the most visible executives at the company and the lead architect of its often-criticized ads-based business model, the report reads.

Before her Meta roles, Sandberg worked at Google and earlier, served as chief of staff for the United States Treasury Department under Bill Clinton. She’s been a vocal defender of Facebook throughout many controversies and PR crises.

One such was in 2018 when The New York Times reported that Sandberg asked Facebook staff to look into George Soros’s financial interests that were interlinked with the social network. It all began when Soros delivered a speech at the World Economic Forum and described Facebook and Google as a “menace”, adding that they’ve caused “a variety of problems of which we are only now beginning to become aware”.

It’s perfectly normal to have an opinion on any matter, but when you’re a billionaire and your words could potentially drive markets, things are a bit more complicated. So, Sandberg wanted to know if Soros had anything to gain financially from publicly criticizing the tech giants. The problem was a potential short selling of Facebook’s stocks – long story short (pun intended), that’s when you bet against a company and make money when its stock price fails. And you see the conflict of interest if you can stir up the markets with just a single speech.

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