Sheryl Sandberg leaves Facebook parent Meta after 14 years

Sheryl Sandberg is stepping down as chief operating officer of Facebook parent company Meta after 14 years, a major shake-up in which chief executive Mark Zuckerberg will lose one of his closest lieutenants.

Sandberg, one of the company’s most high-profile executives, will leave the company “in the fall” after a transition period, while remaining on Meta’s board, she said.

In a post on her Facebook page on Wednesday, Sandberg did not explain her reasons for leaving the company, which she helped grow from a start-up with no revenue to a digital advertising giant. She said she was “not quite sure what the future will bring” but wanted to focus more on her philanthropic efforts.

Javier Olivan, another long-time employee who is currently Director of Corporate Growth, will serve as Director of Operations.

Zuckerberg called the decision “the end of an era”, adding in his lengthy Facebook post that the 52-year-old had “built our advertising business, hired great people, shaped our management culture and taught me to run a business”. ”.

Shares of the company fell nearly 3% on the news.

A Harvard graduate, Sandberg joined Facebook in 2008. She worked for then-U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers under President Bill Clinton and later expanded Google’s advertising business as vice president of global online sales and operations.

Billed as “the adult in the room” when he joined the then 20-year-old Zuckerberg team, Sandberg is credited with spearheading the company’s monetization, which launched publicly in 2012 and has generated $117 billion in revenue in 2021.

During her tenure, she positioned herself as an advocate for working women, writing the modern feminist call to arms Bend over. She also presented herself as a champion of small businesses using Facebook to grow.

But as a public figure who once met regularly with lawmakers and regulators, she’s also been caught up in the many scandals over privacy and content moderation, among others, that have rocked the company in recent years.

Zuckerberg said Olivan will take on a “more traditional COO role,” where he will be “internally and operationally focused, leveraging his strong track record to make our execution more efficient and rigorous.”

The chief executive also announced several other promotions as part of a wider reshuffle following Sandberg’s departure. “I think Meta has reached the point where it makes sense for our product and business groups to be more tightly integrated, rather than having all business and operational functions organized separately from our products,” Zuckerberg said.

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