Meta’s COO, Facebook’s parent company, Sheryl Sandberg, leaves the company after 14 years. Sandberg is one of the most influential women in the technology industry. Second after Mark Zuckerberg, she was one of the company’s most recognized executives and the main creator of its often criticized advertising-based business model.
Sandberg announced her departure in a Facebook post, saying she hopes to focus on her foundation and philanthropic work in the future.
Sheryl Sandberg leaves Facebook
“When I accepted this job in 2008, I was hoping to work there for five years. Fourteen years later it was time for me to write the next chapter of my life,” she wrote on Facebook, announcing her decision. Her statement initially caused the company’s shares to decline by 4 percent.
Sandberg was behind its growth and successes, but was also criticized for the business model adopted by Facebook, and for the platform’s failure to make sufficient efforts to combat disinformation.
As the BBC notes, her departure comes as Meta struggles with slowing ad sales and increasing competition from rivals such as TikTok.
Sandberg’s departure, however, is not literal. Although he resigns from co-managing the company, he does not completely abandon Meta. He will continue to sit on the board of directors. This change will finally take place in the fall.
Prior to joining Facebook, Sandberg was Vice President of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google, Chief of Staff for the Treasury Department Of the United States under former President Bill Clinton, a management consultant at McKinsey & Company and an economist at the World Bank.
Second after Zuckerberg
Sheryl Sandberg joined Facebook when it was still a small company headed by Mark Zuckerberg, a 23-year-old Harvard graduate at the time. As a Google veteran, she helped turn the advertising business into a powerhouse, and the company grew to include Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger.
Last year, the company posted more than $ 117 billion in revenue and reported that more than 2.8 billion people worldwide use one of its apps every day.
Facebook’s user growth in key markets like the US has stalled, and the company is losing younger users to new rivals like TikTok. Zuckerberg wants the company to invest in virtual and augmented reality platforms, which he believes are to be the driving force behind the next stage of the company’s development.
Last year, he changed the company name to Meta to celebrate the move to the “metaversum”.
Zuckerberg wrote in his post that Sandberg’s departure spelled “the end of the era,” noting it was “remarkable” for a business partnership to last that long. “Sheryl designed our advertising business, hired great people, shaped our management culture and taught me how to run the business,” he added. “It has created opportunities for millions of people around the world, and she owes her what Meta is today.”
Main photo source: JIM LO SCALZO / EPA / PAP