Facebook Board Backs Sandberg’s Handling of Soros Research

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“To be clear, Ms. Sandberg’s doubt was wholly suitable given her purpose as COO,” Mr. Stretch wrote. “When a obvious and outspoken financier attacks your association publicly, it is satisfactory and suitable to do this turn of diligence.”

The minute was a uncover of support for Ms. Sandberg, one of a tech industry’s many distinguished executives, as investors, regulators, and users replenish vigour on both her and a association following a array of government missteps.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is authority of a house of directors.

Mr. Stretch sent a summary during a Facebook board’s ask in response to a minute Mr. Gaspard publicized Tuesday. In that communication, Mr. Gaspard pronounced that Ms. Sandberg had misled him during a private phone call on Nov. 15 about her believe of company-commissioned antithesis investigate into Mr. Soros by Definers Public Affairs, a consulting organisation that Facebook tasked with scrutinizing detractors.

During that call, Ms. Sandberg “assured me that she knew positively zero about these efforts, that enclosed oppo investigate on George Soros,” Mr. Gaspard wrote in a his Dec. 4 minute to a company’s house of directors. “It is now transparent from a news that Ms. Sandberg did not pronounce in good faith.”

On Wednesday, Mr. Stretch doubtful Mr. Gaspard’s characterization, observant Ms. Sandberg had been guileless to him about her believe of Definers’s work per Mr. Soros. Open Society didn’t immediately lapse a ask for comment.

The sell between Mr. Soros’s organisation and Facebook is a latest turn in a formidable dual years for a social-media company, where worker spirit has collapsed as a association has faced one debate after another.

Mr. Gaspard’s comments weren’t even a usually firestorm this week. Earlier Wednesday, British lawmakers common 250 pages of inner Facebook papers display how association executives, including Mr. Zuckerberg, sought to precedence a developer platform.

Also Wednesday, Stifel analysts downgraded Facebook shares to a hold, citing a company’s inner and domestic issues. “Facebook’s government group has combined too many adversaries—politicians/regulators, tech leaders, consumers, and employees—to not knowledge long-term disastrous ramifications on a business,” a analysts wrote.

Ms. Sandberg’s impasse in a Soros matter has been underneath inspection given The New York Times reported final month that Facebook had hired Definers in partial to pull behind opposite a company’s critics.

On Nov. 15, Ms. Sandberg pronounced she didn’t know about Definers and a work a organisation was doing for a company.

The following week, she revised her matter to contend that some of Definers’s work was “incorporated into materials presented to me and we perceived a tiny series of emails where Definers was referenced.”

Last week, Facebook reliable that Ms. Sandberg sent an email to her staff in Jan seeking either Mr. Soros has shorted a company’s batch after a magnanimous humanitarian called internet “monopolies” a “menace” in a debate during a World Economic Forum.

Facebook officials had already asked Definers to demeanour into Mr. Soros when Ms. Sandberg sent her email, according to a Facebook spokesman.

“She told you, truthfully, that she had not famous about a work finished by a Definers open family organisation associated to Mr. Soros,” Mr. Stretch wrote Wednesday, adding that Ms. Sandberg takes “full responsibility” for work finished underneath her watch.

The minute also outlines several stairs Facebook has taken given a 2016 U.S. presidential choosing to secure a height from bad actors perplexing to widespread disinformation, including by environment adult an eccentric choosing elect to try a attribute between amicable networks and democracy.

“Much additional work remains, though to be transparent these are not a actions of a association that has, in your words, ‘failed to take responsibility’,” Mr. Stretch wrote.

Write to Deepa Seetharaman during Deepa.Seetharaman@wsj.com

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