When Sheryl Sandberg first joined Facebook in March 2008, the tech startup had a CEO in her 20s, several hundred employees, a business model that advertisers didn’t quite know what to do with, and a workplace culture that still wore traces of his college. -hostel of origin. The company was making $150 million a year; 100 million people log into the system every month.
Embracing the vision of founder Mark Zuckerberg, Sandberg agreed to become COO, putting her deputy in charge of what is now, 14 years later, one of the most powerful companies on the planet. Facebook currently claims to have around 80,000 employees; generates more than $100 billion in revenue per year; and hosts several billion monthly active users. Throughout his astronomical rise — and recent downfall — Sandberg has been Facebook’s most visible supporter and advocate, even more so than Zuckerberg himself.
Sandberg announced on Wednesday that she would soon be stepping down as chief operating officer of Facebook parent company Meta Platforms Inc., leaving the venture almost indistinguishable from the one she joined.
“When I took this job in 2008, I hoped to be in this position for five years,” Sandberg wrote in an interview. long retrospective she posted – where else – on Facebook. “Fourteen years later, it’s time for me to write the next chapter of my life.
“I’m not entirely sure what the future will bring…but I know it will include more focus on my foundation and charitable work.”
Sandberg’s departure comes at a moment of change for Meta, which has been grappling with recent scandals and leaks and also trying to pivot towards a hazy new vision of social media. It also comes amid rumors that Sandberg’s power at the company has been limited and that tensions between her and Zuckerberg have risen.
This weekend, Sandberg told Zuckerberg about her plans to step down, according to a Meta spokesperson. Her departure follows a similar move by Chief Technology Officer Mike Schropfer, who resigned from this position in April.
Sandberg said there will be a transition over the next few months before she leaves in the fall. However, this will not be a complete solution; the outgoing chief executive must remain on Meta’s board of directors.
Facebook spent radical rebranding in 2021 by reorganizing its titular social platform, as well as Instagram, WhatsApp and other subsidiaries, into a new umbrella conglomerate called Meta. The new name was a nod to the company’s growing interest in the “metaverse” — a trendy but still rather abstract vision of the future of the Internet that emphasizes virtual reality and interactive digital environments — but was also seen by some as an attempt to divert attention from an ever-lengthening list of controversies. and accusations, not to mention the core business, which may be approaching maturity.
Sandberg criticized her initial silence about the Cambridge Analytica platform data privacy scandal in 2018, for example, and its slow response to concerns about Russian interference in the 2016 elections.
In the fall of 2018, company insiders told the Wall Street Journal that Zuckerberg had instructed Sandberg to prevent more such scandals, putting her in a difficult and thankless position where any mistakes would be clearly visible to outside critics. Since Sandberg was in charge of landmine clearance for public relations, Zuckerberg was able to focus on matters of strategy and engineering.
Sandberg ‘became increasingly isolated’ during Donald Trump’s presidency, New York Times informed last summer: “Her role as Deputy CEO has been less defined as he has elevated several other executives and her influence in Washington has waned. 1 and no. 2, but no. 1 and many.
She has also been closely scrutinized due to reports that she tried to put pressure Daily Mail in a murder article about a restraining order a woman filed against Bobby Kotick, chief executive of video game company Activision Blizzard and Sandberg’s ex-boyfriend. The cat has faced accusations that he created a toxic, sexist work environment at Activision and had been aware of allegations of sexual harassment within the company for years.
“Sandberg is leaving behind a shameful legacy,” the Real Facebook Oversight Board, an watchdog group focused on the company, said in a statement. “Her misguided leadership allowed Facebook and its platforms to become the disinformation engine they are today.”
In February the company informed that the number of its daily users dropped for the first time.
Sandberg’s public image is largely shaped by her 2013 book Bend Over: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, which outlines a vision of career-oriented feminism that has in turn been hailed as empowering and criticized as overly corporate. She joined Facebook four years before the social network went public, after previously working at Google.
The unexpected death of her late husband, Dave Goldberg, CEO of SurveyMonkey, another web platform. formed the basis Book 2, Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy.
Since then she got engaged Tom Bernthal, founder of a consulting agency in Los Angeles. “Because Tom and I are getting married this summer,” her post-Facebook life will include “raising [their] extended family of five,” Sandberg wrote in her announcement.
A former member of the Clinton administration who also had a relationship with Hillary Clinton, Sandberg was
swam as a potential treasury secretary, the latter was elected president, although Sandberg denied these rumors, saying she was “very happy” on Facebook.
AT his own statementalso posted on Facebook, Zuckerberg called her departure the end of an era.
“When [Sandberg] joined me in 2008, I was only 23 years old and knew next to nothing about running a company,” wrote the billionaire founder. Cheryl organized our advertising business, hired great people, shaped our management culture and taught me how to run the company. She has created opportunities for millions of people around the world, and she deserves credit for much of what the Meta is today.”
Zuckerberg said he doesn’t plan to directly replace Sandberg in the position: “I’m not sure it will be possible,” he said, adding that the company is now in a place where it doesn’t make sense to explicitly separate business from product operations. – but that Javier Olivan, his director of development, will take over as chief operating officer.
Olivane “will now lead our integrated advertising and business products in addition to our infrastructure, integrity, analytics, marketing, corporate development and growth teams,” Zuckerberg said. Olivan’s current remit includes “development efforts, integrity, advertising and business platform, commerce and social impact efforts,” he says. company biography.
The Associated Press was used in compiling this report.