Facebook exec Sheryl Sandberg defends reputation, says she's a 'tough' but 'very fair' boss

Sanberg made headlines after tech journalist Steven Levy revealed criticism of her leadership in his new book

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg defended her "tough" leadership style in an interview on an NBC News podcast.

Continue Reading Below

Sanberg, 50, made headlines after tech journalist Steven Levy revealed criticism of her leadership in his new book, "Facebook: The Inside Story," writing that she is "prone to yelling" and obsessed with her image.

"I’m a demanding boss, and I’m a tough boss. I think I’m a very fair boss. But I’m demanding," Sandberg said in a Thursday interview on NBC's "Byers Market" podcast.

In a Friday interview on FOX Business' "Cavuto Coast to Coast," Levy stood by his reporting, saying she can be both a tough leader and an attentive one.

"There [are] two sides [to] Sheryl," he told Neil Cavuto. "She is a person who can embrace particularly the women in the workplace and take them out to breakfast… and give them career advice. But on the other hand, she’s super concerned about the image of Facebook and her own personal image,"

FACEBOOK'S SHERYL SANDBERG IS ENGAGED

Sandberg's focus on her own image could be costing Facebook hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"They hired a company called TSD run by one of her former friends in the treasury and even though Facebook has hundreds of [public relations] people they pay this company, someone told me, $30,000 a month mainly to do Cheryl’s communications," Levy said.

Sheryl suggested in her NBC interview that having a reputation for being a tough boss is different for female leaders compared to male leaders.

SHERYL SANDBERG: WE ARE DOING BETTER, WE CAN CONTINUE TO DO BETTER

"For you to say a man is yelling at the workplace, he has to be Steve Jobs … he has to, like, scream," Sandberg told NBC. "For someone to say a woman is yelling, you have to raise your voice or sound tense. It’s a very different thing."

Sanberg then said people are quick to misunderstand 35-year-old Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

"I wish so much that the world could see the Mark I know," Sandberg said. "Mark is an enormously, enormously talented guy. He has a great product sense. ... People think he doesn't understand people. That's just clearly wrong."

She also disputed the claim that she and Zuckerberg are concerned about their respective public images.

GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE

"We don't spend that much time worrying about our public image," she added. "The issue is not what people think of me or Mark personally. The issue is how are we doing as a company? How do we provide a great service, and how do we prevent some of the harm?"

Sandberg is known for her work in the tech industry building social media giant Facebook. In 2013, she published the best-selling book "Lean In," focused on female empowerment and helping women excel at work.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS

This report contains material from previous FOX Business articles.