Dec 9, 2018

How the star of Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg dimmed

When former First Lady Michelle Obama used uncharacteristically loose language to dismiss Ms Sandberg's career advice catchphrase, "Lean in", she seemed to underline just how far Ms Sandberg's star had fallen. Ms Sandberg has overseen Facebook's response to the controversies, which has seen the firm publicly pledging to do better, while privately hiring a hard-nosed opposition research firm to investigate critics and competitors. Ms Sandberg meanwhile has cultivated a celebrity profile with a 2013 bestseller, Lean In, which counselled women to embrace their career ambitions; as well as a 2017 follow-up, Option B, which grappled with the sudden death of her husband. The books offered up Ms Sandberg as a role model, which may be why her part at the firm feels to some like such an unsettling betrayal. Brenda Darden Wilkerson, president and chief executive of AnitaB, a charity that works to increase diversity in the technology industry, says she worries the heat attracted by Ms Sandberg will discourage other companies from appointing women to positions of power.

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