Sheryl Sandberg is stepping down as COO of Meta

Published: June 2, 2022
Updated: June 2, 2022
Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg is leaving Meta

Sheryl Sandberg announced her departure as a chief operating officer of Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc. on Wednesday, bringing an end to her time as one of the world’s most profitable and divisive organizations.

After 14 years as COO of Meta, Sheryl Sandberg is stepping down.

When Sheryl Sandberg formally steps down in the fall, Javier Olivan, who has directed the company’s growth initiatives for years, will take her position as COO.

Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Meta Platform, is stepping down after helping Facebook transform from a startup to a multibillion-dollar advertising juggernaut.

Sheryl Sandberg is stepping down as COO of Meta

According to a post on Facebook on Wednesday, Sandberg, 52, will remain on the board of Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. When Sandberg formally steps down in the fall, Javier Olivan, who has directed the company’s growth initiatives for years, will take her position as COO.

Sandberg joined Facebook in 2008 and was instrumental in transforming it into a social media behemoth with about $120 billion in revenue last year. 

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Along the process, she became a well-known author (her book “Lean In” was published in 2013) and acted as the company’s most visible face, second only to CEO Mark Zuckerberg. She also apologized for Facebook’s past privacy and policy gaffes, aiming to restore the company’s relationship with the public and regulators.

Sandberg called her tenure at Meta the “honor and privilege of a lifetime” in an interview with Bloomberg, but joked that it’s also “not the most manageable job anyone has ever had.”

“It wasn’t an easy decision for me to make, but it’s been 14 years,” she remarked on Wednesday. “I’d like to make more place in my foundation to do more philanthropically.”

When Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg hired Sheryl Sandberg, a Google executive, in 2008, he claimed he picked her because “she has just about the most relevant industry experience for Facebook, especially since we need to develop our operations and scale them globally.”

Ms. Sandberg reciprocated. “The chance to help another young firm evolve into a worldwide leader is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” she remarked at the time.

Sheryl Sandberg

Mr. Zuckerberg was 23 years old at the time, and Ms. Sandberg was 38.

Mr. Zuckerberg is now the same age as Ms. Sandberg was when he hired her, and Facebook has grown to be a giant. Mr. Zuckerberg has rebranded the firm Meta and begun taking the social network in a new direction — toward the immersive online environment of the so-called metaverse — during the last year. Mr. Zuckerberg has taken over more of Ms. Sandberg’s responsibilities and rebuilt the corporation for its new chapter, while Ms. Sandberg, 52, has muted her prominence.

Ms. Sandberg announced on Wednesday that she would be departing Meta — which also owns Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger — in the autumn. She mentioned in an interview that she had intended to stay with the company for only about five years, rather than the 14 years she has. She went on to say that she planned to focus on her philanthropy and her foundation, Lean In and that she would marry television producer Tom Bernthal this summer.

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