Mark Zuckerberg Says He Wants to Work With Sheryl Sandberg for Decades

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

CEO Mark Zuckerberg came to her defense on Tuesday.

Speaking to CNN from Facebook's Menlo Park, Calif. headquarters, Zuckerberg dismissed calls by some shareholders and pundits to step down from his chairman role.

Russian fake news spread across the social network in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

Zuckerberg also offered support for the company's chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, who has always been viewed as the mature influence on the company's boyish founder.

Zuckerberg said the company didn't pick up on Russia's propaganda infusion during the 2016 election, but he said Facebook has worked to curb any future collusions and strengthen its capacities to head off these fronts moving forward.

"I wasn't particularly happy about that piece of it... that's certainly a big part, when I read about this, that made me want to look into this more deeply", he said.

"I'm not going to be doing this forever but I'm not now thinking that [stepping down] makes sense", he said.

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A spokesperson for the Times previously defended the article in a statement after Facebook disputed the report: "Our story is accurate and we stand by it". "But I do think that sometimes, you can get the flavor from some of the coverage that that's all there is, and I don't think that that's right either".

Zuckerberg sought to downplay the political calculation that factored into Facebook's decision not to remove candidate Donald J. Trump's post from 2015, in which he described Muslim immigrants as a threat to America. "So yes, I don't think fundamentally we're going to be able to address these issues by ourselves".

Zuckerberg has reportedly been even more blunt in his assessment inside the company. "The monthslong investigation by a team of reporters was based on interviews with more than 50 sources including current and former Facebook executives and other employees, lawmakers and government officials, lobbyists and congressional staff members".

"Sheryl is a really important part of this company", Zuckerberg said, in an interview with CNN. "I'm really proud of the work we've done together and I hope that we work together for decades more to come".

Facebook has stumbled from one mess to another this year as it grappled with continuing fallout from Russia's use of the platform to interfere in the 2016 United States presidential election, the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which user data was harnessed in a bid to help candidate Donald Trump, and a huge security breach involving millions of accounts.

Zuckerberg called Sandberg an "important partner" who is overseeing Facebook's efforts to tackle some of the biggest problems the company is facing.

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