Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg stepping down
Meta Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg is stepping down after 14 years with the company, she announced Wednesday.
She will continue to serve on the company’s board of directors.
“When I took this job in 2008, I hoped I would be in this role for five years. Fourteen years later, it is time for me to write the next chapter of my life. I am not entirely sure what the future will bring – I have learned no one ever is. But I know it will include focusing more on my foundation and philanthropic work, which is more important to me than ever given how critical this moment is for women,” Sandberg wrote in a post on Facebook, which is owned by Meta.
She will leave the company “this fall,” she said.
Sandberg will be replaced as COO by Javier Olivan, the company’s chief growth officer, but his role will differ from the work Sandberg did for the company, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post.
“Looking forward, I don’t plan to replace Sheryl’s role in our existing structure. I’m not sure that would be possible since she’s a superstar who defined the COO role in her own unique way. But even if it were possible, I think Meta has reached the point where it makes sense for our product and business groups to be more closely integrated, rather than having all the business and operations functions organized separately from our products,” he said.
Olivian will lead the company’s integrated ads and business products in addition to continuing to lead growth teams. It will be more of a “traditional COO role,” Zuckerberg said.
“I’m going to miss running this company with Sheryl. But I’m glad that she’ll continue to serve on our board of directors so we can benefit from her wisdom and experience even after she transitions out of her day-to-day management role in the coming months,” he said.
Sandberg joined Facebook, now under the parent company name Meta, in its early days and worked closely with Zuckerberg throughout the company’s rise in power and size.
During her time as the company’s number two, Facebook grew to immense power — and with it, faced increased scrutiny on matters including the spread of misinformation, the collection of personal data and its acquisitions of WhatsApp and Instagram.
In her post announcing her resignation, Sandberg said the “debate around social media has changed beyond recognition since those early days.”
“To say it hasn’t always been easy is an understatement. But it should be hard. The products we make have a huge impact, so we have the responsibility to build them in a way that protects privacy and keeps people safe,” Sandberg wrote.
“Just as I believe wholeheartedly in our mission, our industry, and the overwhelmingly positive power of connecting people, I and the dedicated people of Meta have felt our responsibilities deeply. I know that the extraordinary team at Meta will continue to work tirelessly to rise to these challenges and keep making our company and our community better,” she added.
Updated at 4:10 p.m.