Meta COO Sheryl Sandberg reportedly urged UK newspaper to kill reporting on her ex, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick


Meta COO Sheryl Sandberg has urged a British tabloid to drop reports involving her former boyfriend, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick, the the wall street journal reported Thursday.

The Daily Mail was reporting on a temporary restraining order filed against Kotick by a former girlfriend in 2014. Sandberg contacted digital edition outlet MailOnline in 2016 and again in 2019 regarding the report, sources said. sources in the Journal.

Sandberg also told the Mail that the former girlfriend had dropped the allegations, the Journal reported.

Sandberg and Kotick dated for about three years, from 2016 to 2019. Sandberg is the COO of Meta, the new parent company overseeing Facebook, Instagram, and other projects since 2008.

Kotick, outside advisers and Facebook and Activision employees were also part of the strategy to keep the Daily Mail from reporting on the restraining order, the Journal reported. The MailOnline never published an article detailing the incident.

The parties wanted to shut down the report for fear it would tarnish Sandberg’s reputation as a women’s activist, the Journal reported. Her 2013 book, “Lean In,” has become popular material in the fight for gender equality in the workplace.

The Journal also reported that Meta, formerly known as Facebook, recently began a review into Sandberg’s involvement and whether she violated company policy.

A spokesperson for Meta pushed back against the Journal’s characterization of the events, telling Insider: “Sheryl Sandberg never threatened MailOnline’s business relationship with Facebook in order to influence an editorial decision. This story attempts to establish links that do not exist.

Activision’s board told Insider it was aware of the events.

“The Commission, through its lawyer Skadden Arps, has carried out a thorough examination of the facts and the circumstances of the events, has satisfied itself that the allegations are unfounded and notes that they relate to a personal relationship which has nothing to do with the business of the Company,” said a representative of the Board of Directors. “The Board of Directors continues to have full confidence in Mr. Kotick’s leadership and his ability to lead the society.”

Kotick has been CEO of gaming giant Activision Blizzard since 1991. The video game publisher, which is behind the popular game “Call of Duty,” was embroiled in a scandal in mid-2021 following allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination within the company. Activision pushed back on those claims.

The Daily Mail did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


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