Sheryl Sandberg quits role as Meta's chief operating officer

Menlo Park, California - After 14 years with Facebook/Meta, Sheryl Sandberg is logging off.

Sheryl Sandberg spent 14 years with Facebook/Meta as chief operating officer.
Sheryl Sandberg spent 14 years with Facebook/Meta as chief operating officer.  © JUSTIN SULLIVAN / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

The 52-year-old executive announced Wednesday that she is stepping down as the chief operating officer of Meta.

Sandberg, who joined the company in 2008, is largely credited with turning Facebook into the internet's premiere advertising venue after previously helping Google grow its advertising business. She will keep her spot on the company's board of directors.

"When I took this job in 2008, I hoped I would be in this role for five years," Sandberg said in a Facebook post.

"Fourteen years later, it is time for me to write the next chapter of my life. I am not entirely sure what the future will bring – I have learned no one ever is. But I know it will include focusing more on my foundation and philanthropic work, which is more important to me than ever given how critical this moment is for women."

CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced in his own post that the new COO would be Javier Olivan, the current chief growth officer.

"I'm going to miss running this company with Sheryl," Zuckerberg wrote. "But I'm glad that she'll continue to serve on our board of directors so we can benefit from her wisdom and experience even after she transitions out of her day-to-day management role in the coming months."

Sandberg leaves behind a mixed record

Sandberg, who wrote Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, has become something of a career guru for women.

At the same time, her final years at Meta were dogged by huge controversies over the tech giant's practices, exposed in a massive document leak by whistleblower Frances Haugen. The revelations focused on Facebook and Instagram – both owned by Meta – and the dangers they pose to users, as well as democracy.

Towards the end of Sandberg's time with the company, there had been growing rumors about a breakdown in her relationship with CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Cover photo: JUSTIN SULLIVAN / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

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