Meta Platforms Inc.’s Sheryl Sandberg, who turned one of the acknowledged figures in international enterprise after serving to Fb rework from a startup right into a multibillion-dollar promoting powerhouse, is stepping down as chief working officer.
Sandberg, 52, will stay on the board of Meta, the guardian firm of Fb, Instagram and WhatsApp, based on a publish on the social community Wednesday. Javier Olivan, who has led the corporate’s progress efforts for years, will take Sandberg’s place as COO when she formally leaves within the fall.
Sandberg joined Fb in 2008 and was key to turning it right into a social media large that generated virtually $120 billion in income final 12 months. Alongside the best way, she turned an influential writer — publishing “Lean In” in 2013 — and served because the highest-profile face of the corporate subsequent to Chief Government Officer Mark Zuckerberg. Alongside him, she championed Fb’s enterprise tradition of rising rapidly and fixing issues later, resulting in a number of public scandals over lapses in privateness and content material moderation. Sandberg spent years making an attempt to enhance Fb’s relationship with the general public and regulators.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Sandberg referred to as her time at Meta the “honor and privilege of a lifetime,” however joked that it’s additionally “not probably the most manageable job anybody has ever had.”
“It’s a choice I didn’t come to evenly, nevertheless it’s been 14 years,” she mentioned on Wednesday. “I wish to make extra room to do extra philanthropically, to do extra with my basis.”
Previously at Google, Sandberg joined the then-fledgling Fb to supervise all its enterprise capabilities — adverts, partnerships, enterprise improvement and operations — in order that Zuckerberg may concentrate on merchandise. Meta, as the corporate turned identified in a rebranding final 12 months, now has 4 merchandise with greater than 1 billion customers, and its promoting enterprise generated $27 billion in gross sales within the first quarter.
Sandberg mentioned she’s planning to get married this summer time and hopes to spend extra time together with her children and soon-to-be stepchildren. She additionally plans to work on advocacy for ladies’s points — a spotlight of her Lean In basis — and different philanthropy.
She mentioned that taking one other job in enterprise or in politics was “fairly unlikely,” however added, “I realized a very long time in the past: By no means make any predictions in regards to the future.”
Meta’s coverage and promoting organizations have been on the middle of lots of its scandals over time, together with the corporate’s function within the 2016 U.S. election and the dealing with of information insurance policies associated to Cambridge Analytica.
Over time, Sandberg has made fewer public appearances on behalf of the corporate, primarily talking about Meta’s efforts for small companies, and specializing in the Lean In group. Components of her function have already been handed on. Former UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, for instance, obtained a giant promotion earlier this 12 months, formally taking on a few of the firm’s coverage duties that Sandberg used to supervise.
A Meta spokeswoman mentioned that Sandberg’s choice has nothing to do with a current investigation into whether or not she used Meta sources to attempt to quash a information story about her former boyfriend. The spokeswoman added that the investigation is over and has been resolved.
Sandberg is departing as Meta shifts its focus to merchandise that allow the digital reality-driven metaverse, which require a big evolution of its enterprise mannequin. She mentioned that she made the choice to go away the corporate final weekend and informed Zuckerberg of her plans then. The 2 executives have change into shut buddies over time.
“She has taught me a lot and she or he has been there for most of the essential moments in my life, each personally and professionally,” Zuckerberg, 38, wrote within the weblog publish, including that Sandberg “supported me and Priscilla as we navigated challenges having kids.”
“Our partnership has at all times been deeper than simply enterprise,” he mentioned.
Shares of Meta slipped 2.6% to $188.54 at 3:50 p.m. in New York.
(Updates with Sandberg’s historical past, feedback from interview beginning in sixth paragraph.)