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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Sheryl Sandberg on leaving Meta

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When, not if, Sheryl Sandberg leaves Meta has been one of the crucial speculated questions amongst present and former staff over the previous few years. Even nonetheless, the news Wednesday that she will soon leave her position because the social media large’s number-two govt despatched shockwaves all through the corporate and the remainder of Silicon Valley.

In her personal phrases, there are two massive components in Sandberg’s determination to go away now: the truth that Meta’s govt staff has been constructed as much as make approach for her departure, and that, because the chief of the “Lean In” motion, she desires to focus extra on philanthropy and girls’s rights. “There’s no excellent time,” she advised me throughout a quick cellphone interview Wednesday afternoon. “It’s a job that’s been an honor and a privilege, nevertheless it’s not a job that leaves a whole lot of time to do a lot else.”

Right here’s my full dialog with Sandberg about her stepping down as COO of Meta, edited flippantly for readability:

Why the timing of doing this now versus at some other level?

You already know, after I took this job, I bear in mind interviewing with Mark for a really very long time after which going to dinner with Mark and Priscilla and [my late husband] Dave, and speaking to Dave about how I ought to solely take this job if I believed I may do it for 5 years. And that was 14 years in the past. 14 years right into a job I believed would final for 5 years.

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There’s no excellent time. It’s a job that’s been an honor and a privilege, nevertheless it’s not a job that leaves a whole lot of time to do a lot else. And I actually needed to make extra room in my life to do philanthropy, to work with my basis. It’s a really vital second for girls, and it’s essential to me and to have the chance to do extra on that proper now. It is also a second the place I actually really feel very, superb concerning the staff we’ve constructed. Superb. I believe Mark and I’ve constructed an extremely sturdy staff.

So was it simply getting the staff to a spot the place it felt good to have the ability to make this transfer?

Yeah, that’s an enormous a part of it as a result of I care a lot concerning the firm.

You’re going to remain on the board, so that you’re going to proceed to be engaged there. Do you propose on staying for a number of years?

I haven’t gotten that far however for now, staying on the board.

The enterprise has all the time had challenges, however I’d say it’s most likely essentially the most multifaceted it has ever been by way of regulation, Apple’s monitoring modifications, and all this stuff which are occurring directly. How do you are feeling about leaving on this second, the place there’s an enormous transition underway with how advertisements work and every little thing you constructed?

When you concentrate on our enterprise, there’s by no means one second the place a chapter ends and a brand new one begins. This isn’t the start or the tip of the advertisements, this isn’t the start or the tip of the metaverse enterprise. However it’s a continuum. And we’ve had challenges all alongside the way in which. We’re going to proceed to have challenges going ahead. The duty forward is to construct the present enterprise, which persons are engaged on and doing, and in addition construct the long run. And I’ve a whole lot of confidence in each.

I stated on the earnings name that now we have a household of apps that 3 billion folks use to attach. Companies use that to develop their enterprise and I believe that may and can proceed. After which when you concentrate on the metaverse, our chief there’s Boz [Andrew Bosworth]. And Boz was my companion on the advertisements enterprise for a really very long time. He’s very enterprise minded and I believe will do an amazing job constructing the following enterprise for the corporate.

What do you make of the metaverse by way of the enterprise wager there? It’s very long run, clearly. However how have you considered that?

The chance and the problem is similar. This can be a firm that has to construct the following enterprise whereas it’s operating its present one. It’s a reflective second for me, a time after I look again over the course of the final 14 years and see now we have performed that earlier than, proper? In the event you bear in mind, we went public with no advertisements. No advertisements! No advertisements on cell in any respect. And that cell transition occurred in a short time. We solely had advertisements on the desktop, so we needed to run the desktop enterprise whereas migrating on to cell. I believe that is going to be an excellent larger transition than that, however this can be a staff that is aware of make transitions like that.

Do you’ve got a greatest remorse, wanting again over 14 years?

We have now issues we’ve realized and positively want we had recognized earlier. I put in my post that now we have an actual accountability to guard peoples’ privateness, to construct security into the merchandise. And I believe we made these investments. However in fact we want we had performed these earlier. And when you take a look at what we’re doing now with the metaverse, Nick [Clegg, Meta’s president of global affairs] wrote a very good paper, and we’re constructing that in now for the metaverse. And I believe that may be very, very, essential.

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