Sheryl Sandberg is stepping down as Chief Operating Officer of Meta after 14 years as one of Mark Zuckerberg’s top lieutenants at the company. She will remain on the company’s board of directors.
In a post on Facebook, she said she plans to depart Meta in the fall and that “over the next few months, Mark and I will transition my direct reports.” Javier Olivan, currently Meta’s Chief Growth Officer, will take on the COO role, but his role “will be different from what Sheryl has done,” according to a post from Zuckerberg. “It will be a more traditional COO role where Javi will be focused internally and operationally, building on his strong track record of making our execution more efficient and rigorous.”
Sandberg first joined Facebook in 2008 to help build the company’s now-multibillion-dollar advertising business. During that time, she became one of the most recognizable executives at the social network, first, as the author of best-seller Lean In, which she described as a “sort-of feminist manifesto.” Later, she also became the face of many of Facebook’s biggest scandals, including Cambridge Analytica and the company’s handling of election interference and misinformation.
“The debate around social media has changed beyond recognition since those early days,” Sandberg wrote on Facebook. “To say it hasn’t always been easy is an understatement.”
Sandberg said she will spend more time on her foundation and philanthropic work. “I am not entirely sure what the future will bring – I have learned no one ever is,” she wrote.
Sandberg’s departure isn’t the only major shakeup at the top of Meta in recent months. The company’s longtime CTO left last fall, and Zuckerberg elevated Nick Clegg to President of Global Affairs in February. Zuckerberg announced that he is reshuffling several other executives as part of a reorganization to coincide with Sandberg’s departure, and Olivan’s more limited COO role.
“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,” Zuckerberg wrote.
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