Facebook’s 51st employee, and one of its very first females, is opening up about her experience with the social media giant. Katherine Losse, who joined the company in 2005 as a customer service rep and ended in 2010 as CEO Mark Zuckerberg‘s speech writer, just released the book, The Boy Kings: A Journey into the Heart of the Social NetworkThe Boy Kings: A Journey into the Heart of the Social Network. In it, not only does she call out the young founders’ immaturity, she lets everyone know who cleaned the company up: Sheryl Sandberg.
By now, everyone knows the story of Zuckerberg’s famous, “I’m CEO, Bitch” business cards. But that wasn’t the only bit of questionable decision-making at the social network. According the Losse, the office was decorated like a boy’s college dorm room, with pictures of genetically-gifted women in various states of undress. (Or maybe women with gifted plastic surgeons.) That alone would be enough to make any female who was actually expected to work there uncomfortable.
Obviously, these successful young men had a hard time leaving their college days behind them. Aside from the decor, Losse had other examples of the “frat boy” culture. There was a “Judgebox” feature that was created to work much like the infamous original Facemash, where men could rate women’s profile pictures. There was the time a male employee told his co-worker that he wanted to “put [his] teeth in [her] ass.” And then there was the bizarre demand that female employees wear shirts with Zuckerberg’s face on them, “to essentially declare their allegiance to him.”
Enter the savior of all things professional and good in the world, Sheryl Sandberg. According to Losse, when Sandberg came to the company in 2008, she immediately chose to “clean house.” All that misogynistic nonsense was put to rest and Facebook entered the world of responsible corporate culture.
Is it possible that Losse was really trying to write The Social Network II? This sounds like a movie plot right? The immature little boys have a big product but more responsibility than they can handle. The hardass working lady comes in to snap everybody in to shape. There’s some anger and tension, probably culminating in Sandberg and Zuckerberg having a blow-out in front of a whole lot of people. Then they each have sad montages full of regret. They make up and their company goes on to take over the world.
You’re all imagining it right now aren’t you? Should I start advanced ticket sales? We could work on casting Sheryl Sandberg. Let’s do that in comments. I’d love to hear your suggestions.
As for Losse and her book, I wish her the best of luck deciding which studio to sell it to.