Sheryl Sandberg announced today on Facebook that she is leaving Meta after more than a decade as the company’s chief operating officer.
Sandberg joined Meta, then Facebook, as COO in 2008. Over 14 years, Sandberg steered the company through an IPO, an unprecedented period of explosive industry growth, and its at-times rocky path to becoming one of the most socially impactful and valuable tech companies in the world.
Meta’s Chief Growth Officer Javier Olivan will step into the COO role as Sandberg departs. According to a Facebook post on the news from Meta Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Olivan will be in charge of Meta’s ads and business products while overseeing its teams dedicated to “infrastructure, integrity, analytics, marketing, corporate development, and growth.”
Zuckerberg noted that Olivan’s role as COO will be “different from what Sheryl has done,” a commentary on just how much influence and power Sandberg exercised during her years with the company. “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,” Zuckerberg wrote, adding that he didn’t plan to replace her role directly.
“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. While Sandberg was an outsized presence at the company, Meta has always been synonymous with Zuckerberg and he may have even more direct control of decisions at the company as it reorganizes.
In the post, Zuckerberg also took the time to reflect on just how much Sandberg shaped the company into the social media and advertising giant it is today:
When Sheryl joined me in 2008, I was only 23 years old and I barely knew anything about running a company. We’d built a great product — the Facebook website — but we didn’t yet have a profitable business and we were struggling to transition from a small startup to a real organization. Sheryl architected our ads business, hired great people, forged our management culture, and taught me how to run a company. She created opportunities for millions of people around the world, and she deserves the credit for so much of what Meta is today.News Source: Tech Crunch