Sheryl Sandberg, the second most powerful executive at Facebook — now Meta — is leaving the company after 14 years.
In a lengthy post on the social media platform, Meta’s chief operating officer (COO) Sandberg said their exit will be effective starting this fall.
Javier Olivan, who has been appointed as the next COO, will now lead the company’s integrated advertising and business products and will continue to lead the infrastructure, integrity, analytics, marketing, business development and growth teams.
“When I first started this job in 2008, I hoped to hold that role for five years. Fourteen years later, it’s time for me to write the next chapter of my life. I’m not exactly sure what the future will hold — I’ve learned that no one ever is. But I know I will be more focused on my foundation and philanthropic work, which is more important to me than ever given how critical this moment is for women,” Sandberg wrote on the social media platform.
Sandberg shared her experience working at the tech giant: “When I came to Facebook, I had a two-year-old son and a six-month-old daughter. I didn’t know if this was the right time for something new and challenging. The messages were everywhere that women – and I – couldn’t be both a leader and a good mother, but I wanted to try. When I started, I realized that I needed to see my kids before they went to sleep, I had to leave the office at 5:30pm, which is when work was just beginning for many of my new colleagues. In my previous role at Google, there were enough people and buildings that didn’t notice leaving early, but Facebook was a small startup and there was nowhere to hide. More out of necessity than bravery, I found my courage and left early anyway. Then, supported by Mark, I found my voice to publicly admit this and then speak out about the challenges women face in the workplace.” My hope was to make this a little easier for others and to help more women believe that she should c in and lead.”
After her exit, Sandberg will continue to serve on Meta’s board of directors.
Mark Zuckerberg, Meta co-founder, commented on Sandberg’s decision to leave the company: “When Sheryl came to me in 2008, I was only 23 years old and had very little knowledge of running a business. We had developed a great product – the Facebook website – but we still didn’t have a profitable business and were struggling to grow from a small start-up to a real organization. Sheryl designed our ad business, hired amazing people, forged our management culture and taught me how to run a business. She created opportunities for millions of people around the world, and she deserves credit for so much of what Meta is today.
Zuckerberg continued, “Meta has reached the point where it makes sense to more tightly integrate our product and business units, rather than organizing all business and operational functions separately from our products.”
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