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3 senior Facebook security workers are out amid investigations into finances and misconduct allegations

Business Insider | Jun 5, 2019, 01.16AM IST

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

  • Three senior contract workers on Facebook's security team are no longer employed at the security firm.
  • The action comes amid internal investigations into finances and allegations of misconduct.
  • Security firm Allied Universal has a $110 million contract with Facebook to provide security officers to protect its offices.
  • Sources say one of the suspended workers acted in an aggressive manner - swearing at other workers, carrying a knife, and drinking in the workplace.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Three senior employees of Facebook's on-site corporate security contractor have left the firm amid investigations into potential financial irregularities and allegations of misconduct.

Business Insider has learned that Eric Coffey, Jodi Becker and Mike Nishita, three contractors who work for Allied Universal, a firm that provides the Silicon Valley social networking firm with much of its corporate security work force, are no longer employed at the firm.

Facebook launched an investigation into finances relating to the Allied Universal contact, which is worth $110 million a year, as well as the firm's allocation of bonus points for employees that can be redeemed for gadgets, flights, hotel rooms, and other items, sources told Business Insider.

Coffey worked as a national account portfolio manager for Allied Universal, while Becker was a director of operations and Nishita was a program product manager; all were part of the senior leadership working on the Facebook account, working out of a building at Facebook's Menlo Park, Calif headquarters. The trio's exit comes after Coffey and Becker were suspended in May.

As of Tuesday, all three were no longer employed at Allied Universal, the firm confirmed, without providing further details.

In an emailed statement, Allied Universal spokesperson Vanessa Showalter said: "Allied Universal takes very seriously all reports of violations of our standards of conduct. Our #1 goal is to ensure that we uphold high standards of security services within our communities with care and professionalism. As this is an ongoing investigation, we are unable to provide more details at this time."

Facebook spokesperson Anthony Harrison told Business Insider that "while this is a matter being handled by Allied Universal, we take the safety and security of our employees very seriously and are conducting our own investigation." On Tuesday, Harrison told Business Insider that Facebook's investigation has "wrapped up," but declined to provide further details.

Coffey, Becker and Nishita did not respond to requests for comment.

The parallel investigations by Facebook and Allied Universal also involve allegations of a hostile work environment. Sources told Business Insider that Coffey behaved in an unprofessional and aggressive manner in the workplace. They allege that the security professional would swear at employees including calling them "bitch," carry a knife in the office that he would sometimes gesture with in conversation, and sometimes drink alcohol at his desk during the workday.

Allied Universal employees working on the Facebook account are based in Facebook's Menlo Park headquarters, sitting alongside in-house Facebook security staffers in Building 40 - and the allegations raise questions about why others did not speak out about his professional conduct.

Over the years, Facebook has quietly built a veritable security army: Around 6,000 people now work to protect the company's workers and offices across the globe, a Business Insider investigation previously discovered. Threats range from aggrieved banned Facebook users to stalkers targeting the company's executives - and the security legions also keep the peace internally, investigating thefts and intervening in employee disputes. Facebook uses a number of third-party vendors to provide workers for its security arm; as well as Allied Universal, it also relies on G4S and AS Solution.

Business Insider also reported last week that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's personal security chief, Liam Booth, has been suspended following allegations from former staffers that he made racist remarks about Priscilla Chan and engaged in sexual harassment. There is no suggestion that there is any link between the Allied Universal-Facebook investigation and Booth.


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