Sheryl Sandberg steps down as Meta . COO after 14 years

Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg announced via an official Facebook post on Wednesday that she is stepping down as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Meta (formerly Facebook).

Saying goodbye to her 14-year experience in the organization, Sandberg said she will officially leave the company this fall, but will remain on the company’s board of directors and focus on her foundation and philanthropic work.

She will also work with Meta’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg to step down from the role before her departure.

Sandberg, who joined Meta in 2008 as CEO of Meta and the second executive to founder Mark Zuckerberg, has helped Facebook transform from a start-up to the most dominant multi-billion dollar social media juggernaut it is today with nearly 3 billion users around the world .

“Today I am sharing the news that I am leaving Meta after 14 years. When I took this job in 2008, I hoped to fill this role for five years. Fourteen years later, it’s time for me to write the next chapter,” Sandberg wrote in her official Facebook post.

“I am extremely grateful to the thousands of brilliant, dedicated people at Meta who I have had the privilege of working with over the past 14 years.”

Sandberg also thanked Zuckerberg for giving her the opportunity to work in Meta, as well as her colleagues. She wrote: “Thank you to the colleagues who inspire me every day with their dedication to our mission, to our partners around the world who have enabled us to build a company that serves their business, and especially to Mark for giving this opportunity and be one of the best friends anyone could ever have.”

Zuckerberg praised Sandberg, calling her departure an “end of an era.” “In the 14 years we’ve worked together, you’ve designed our advertising business, hired great people, forged our management culture and taught me how to run a business,” he wrote in his own separate Facebook post. He also wrote that he would miss working with her.

“I’m going to miss running this business with Sheryl. But I am pleased that she will continue to serve on our board of directors so that we can benefit from her wisdom and experience even after she leaves her day-to-day management role in the coming months. Thank you for everything you have done for me and my family, for our company and for millions of people around the world. You’re a superstar.”

Following Sandberg’s departure, Javier Olivan, the company’s current Chief Growth Officer, will take over as Meta’s next COO. However, his role will be a “more traditional” COO role and different from Sandberg’s second-in-command.

Zuckerberg says Javier’s role will focus on helping the company, both internally and in its operations.

“Looking forward, I do not intend to replace Sheryl’s role in our existing structure. I’m not sure if that would be possible, as she is a superstar who defined the role of COO in her own unique way,” Zuckerberg added.

“But even if it were possible, I think Meta has reached the point where it makes sense for our product and business groups to be more closely integrated, rather than all business and operational functions organized separately from our products.”

You can read Sandberg’s full announcement here.

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