Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg was a no-show at the social media giant’s Tuesday internal briefing for employees about its role in an widening data breach scandal, according to reports.
According to The Daily Beast, Facebook held a question-and-answer session for employees about the data leak, which may have provided the company known as Cambridge Analytica access to 50 million accounts to try to sway elections.
The U.K. firm came under fire in recent days after a suspension by Facebook for improper access to users’ private data. The company, which has ties to the 2016 Donald Trump presidential campaign, said in a legal document to Facebook that it had deleted the data, but the facts have been disputed.
Whistleblower Christopher Wylie, who once worked for Cambridge Analytica as a contractor, was quoted as saying the company used the data to build psychological profiles so voters could be targeted with ads and stories.
Cambridge Analytica — the firm suspended CEO Alexander Nix pending results of an ongoing investigation — has denied any wrongdoing in the data scandal. As a result, Facebook said it is looking into forensic audits to investigate the data-mining firm’s claims.
The Verge originally reported that the Tuesday-morning session for employees would be led by Paul Grewal, the company’s deputy general counsel.
From employees to lawmakers internationally, Zuckerberg is facing mounting criticism about his silence concerning the data breach.
“The prevailing sentiment is, why haven’t we heard from Mark?” a Facebook employee told The Verge.
Arielle Argyres, a spokeswoman for Facebook, told Fox News about the report of Zuckerberg being AWOL: “Thanks for reaching out — sorry, don’t have anything to share.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.