$FB's Sandberg's Attempt To Stop Bad PR

Bloomberg Headline: Meta’s Sheryl Sandberg Pressured Daily Mail to Drop Bobby Kotick Reporting

Social-media executive, who dated the Activision Blizzard CEO, was part of campaign to persuade the U.K. tabloid to shelve a potential article


Meta Platforms Inc. Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg is facing internal scrutiny over two occasions in which she pressed a U.K. tabloid to shelve a potential article about her then-boyfriend, Activision Blizzard Inc. Chief Executive Bobby Kotick, according to people close to the executives.

In 2016 and 2019, Ms. Sandberg contacted the digital edition of the Daily Mail, which was reporting on a story that would have revealed the existence of a temporary restraining order against Mr. Kotick that had been obtained by a former girlfriend in 2014, according to people involved in the article and the campaigns to stop its publication.

Working with a team that included Facebook and Activision employees as well as paid outside advisers, Ms. Sandberg and Mr. Kotick developed a strategy to persuade the Daily Mail not to report on the restraining order, first when they began dating in 2016 and again around the time they were breaking up in 2019, the people said. Among other concerns, Ms. Sandberg’s legal and public-relations advisers, both inside and outside Facebook, worried that a story would reflect negatively on her reputation as an advocate for women.