Facebook Needs New Leadership. Adding ‘Clarence Thomas of Tech’ To The Board Won’t Help
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, just completed her Washington, D.C. tour to talk to Congress about her platform being used to attack U.S. democracy.
As part of the defensive public relations tour, she met with the Congressional Black Caucus and promised she would add an African American to her board of directors.
Facebook’s top management team and the board do not have one person of color. The management team and board are all white. Increasingly, informed Americans are questioning Facebook’s values, ethics, and what it believes in other than automating humans out of as much as possible, and hitting a home run on its next earnings call.
If Facebook really has conviction in equality, it shouldn’t need a public backlash over the current Russian ads investigation and a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus to start moving on diversifying its board.
It is better to do what is right based on your own personal convictions versus doing what’s right when there is a gun to your head or when it is advantageous for a defensive PR campaign.
Adding an African American board member feels cheap. Before the scrutiny, the organization didn’t seem to think an African American was talented and experienced enough to “naturally” be selected to join the board.
Facebook earns an estimated $600 million in annual revenue from U.S. African American users.
It is not in the business of “giving away jobs,” said Maxine Williams, the Black head of Facebook’s diversity efforts, when she faced increased scrutiny about Facebook’s lack of diversity:
“We are not in the business of giving away jobs to anybody,” Williams said in the June interview. “That doesn’t serve us well. That doesn’t serve them well, but we saw again when you look at society and the hundreds of years of inequity, there are headwinds which have put some people at the front of the line. Then there are in some cases, deliberate policies and legislation keeping others back. If you’re working against that you have to be very intentional. What we wanted to be intentional around is giving everyone the opportunity to compete for the jobs.”
Apparently, Facebook is now in the business of “giving away” board seats.
The American people increasingly realize that Facebook lacks a soul. It lacks moral conviction and it’s ambiguous about what its leadership believes, beyond robot automation and profit.
America must ask: are Facebook board members Sandberg, Marc Andreessen, Peter Thiel, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg the people we want programming the future culture of the country?
When you think about how the U.S. got to the place of Donald Trump, you have to dig deeper than Russia using Facebook. You have to look at Facebook itself.
Facebook’s promiscuous lobbying, its promotion of inequality, its investment and promotion of clickbait, and its lust for more and more data and profits — these are now out in the open and fighting with all things that are good in America.