It’s not clear how history will judge Sheryl Sandberg.
Sandberg, who said on Wednesday that she was quitting Meta after 14 years as the corporate’s second in command, leaves behind a sophisticated skilled and private legacy.
She helped construct the corporate formerly called Facebook into one among the world’s most influential and wealthy corporations. Her writing and advocacy about women within the workplace and grief gave Sandberg influence on topics that few other American executives touched.
But Sandberg was also partly liable for Facebook’s failures during crucial moments, notably when the corporate initially denied and deflected blame for Russia-backed trolls that were abusing the location to inflame divisions amongst Americans ahead of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. And while her 2013 book “Lean In” kicked off necessary conversations, a few of its ideas now feel outdated.
As my colleagues wrote, “Sandberg is ending her tenure at Meta removed from the reputational pinnacle she reached last decade.”
Several of America’s superstar tech corporations, including Apple, Amazon, Google and Oracle, have lived through relatively recent transitions through which iconic founders have handed over power to hired hands. Sandberg is just not the founding father of Facebook, after all. But Facebook wouldn’t be what it’s today — each good and bad — without the partnership between Sandberg and Mark Zuckerberg.
It’s also difficult to assume her departure significantly changing Facebook. That means that Sandberg’s biggest influence could have been previously, and that she is not any longer as necessary at Facebook as either her supporters or her detractors imagine.
An architect of reworking digital promoting:
The 23-year-old Zuckerberg hired Sandberg in 2008 to determine how you can construct Facebook right into a large and lasting business. On that rating, she succeeded beyond anyone’s dreams. But that legacy is complicated, too.
Sandberg spearheaded a plan to construct from scratch a more sophisticated system of promoting that was largely based on what she had helped develop at Google. Ads on Facebook were tied to people’s activities and interests on the location. As at Google, many advertisers bought Facebook ads online fairly than through sales personnel, as had been typical for TV or newspaper ads. Later, Sandberg cultivated latest systems for Facebook advertisers to pinpoint their potential customers with much more precision.
Google and Facebook transformed product marketing from largely an art to a sometimes creepy science, and Sandberg is among the many architects of that change. She shares within the credit (or blame) for developing two of probably the most successful, and maybe least defensible, business models in web history.
All of the anxiety today about apps snooping on people to glean every morsel of activity to raised pitch us dishwashers — that’s partly Sandberg’s doing. So are Facebook and Google’s combined $325 billion in annual promoting sales and people of all other online corporations that earn cash from ads.
The pattern of deny, deflect, defend.
Sandberg initially said publicly that Facebook played little role within the organizing of the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021. That wasn’t quite true. As my colleagues Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang reported, people used Facebook to spread misinformation about election fraud, which fueled anger among the many protesters. Some rioters used Facebook to openly discuss the logistics of the attack ahead of time.
Of their 2021 book, “An Ugly Truth,” Sheera and Cecilia wrote that to Sandberg’s detractors, her response was a part of a pattern of attempting to preserve the corporate’s fame or her own fairly than do the correct thing.
Sandberg was also amongst those liable for Facebook’s delayed or insufficient initial response in 2018 about news reports that a political consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica, was in a position to harvest personal information on many tens of millions of Facebook users.
Tech journalists and others who pay close attention to Facebook often asked in recent times why Sandberg selected to remain at the corporate. My colleague Mike Issac said in today’s DealBook newsletter that Sandberg lost influence as Zuckerberg assumed more command over the corporate. Other executives took over duties that when were Sandberg’s, including overseeing government policy.
Sandberg could have once believed that she could do much more good on the planet working at Facebook than she could outside the corporate, however it was difficult to inform if that was true anymore.
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Tip of the Week
How one can report spam texts
Brian X. Chen, the buyer technology columnist for The Recent York Times, offers advice for becoming a part of the answer to the scourge of bogus text messages.
In a recent column, I reported on the growing annoyance of text-message spam, which recently outpaced the rise of robocalls.
The texts could be shipping notices a few package that you simply didn’t order, or pitches for questionable health products like weight-loss pills. The links inside those texts typically point you to an internet site asking on your personal information, including your bank card number, which scammers could use for fraud.
There’s no sign of SMS spam slowing down. So probably the greatest things you’ll be able to do is develop into a part of the answer: Forward the spam text to your phone carrier.
That may help the carriers learn what phone numbers and language are getting used in spam texts. That’s useful information to assist the carriers improve their technology to stop those messages from ever reaching your phone.
Here’s how you can forward spam texts to the carriers:
On iPhones, tap and hold down on the message and tap “More.” Then press the forward button, which is the arrow on the bottom-right corner of the screen. Within the recipient field, enter 7726 and hit send.
On Android phones, tap and hold down on the message. When a menu pops up, select “Forward Message.” Enter 7726 within the recipient field and hit send.
Before we go …
A trial by TikTok: The jury delivered a verdict on Wednesday within the defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. My colleague Amanda Hess recently explored why the trial became fodder for near-continuous fan commentary on TikTok and other apps, most of which portrayed Depp as a hero and Heard as a villain.
Will it make children safer in schools if more of them bring phones to classrooms? Experts told The Washington Post that they didn’t recommend it, partly because they said children should focus their attention during an emergency like a college shooting on teachers and other educators, and a phone could make unwanted noises during a silent lockdown. (A subscription could also be required.)
The sound of nothing is outwardly a giant business: Individuals who create Spotify audio mixes of just static, ocean waves or other white noise are making as much as $18,000 a month, Bloomberg News reported. (A subscription could also be required.)
Hugs to this
How does an overheated rhino cool off? By getting very mucky.
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