On Wednesday, Forbes.com contributor Eric Jackson
wrote a controversial post comparing the media attention that Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg gets to that of former Marimba CEO Kim Polese 15 years ago. By Thursday morning, Jackson had deleted the post and written an apology
The incident raises important questions about transparency and Forbes.com's publishing process, in which freelance contributors can publish and delete posts without input from editors.
In his story, Jackson wrote that Polese "didn’t deserve" to be on Time’s list of the 25 most influential people back then and that she was clearly “in the right place at the right time.” It helped, he added, that she was “young, pretty, and a good speaker.” He noted the similarities between Polese and Sandberg — “they both like(d) magazine covers and editorial spreads” — and shared this advice for Sandberg: “Maybe you should tone down the public appearances for a while and just keep your head down at Facebook.”
Readers accused Jackson of sexism, saying his post was “dreadful
” and ignored all that Sandberg has achieved. Rachel Sklar tweeted
: “Here's your post, summed up: ‘Don't get too big for your britches, honey.’ Here's mine: Watch us.” (more...)