Sheryl Sandberg, Meta’s second most powerful CEO, announced her departure on Wednesday, ending a 14-year tenure that involved steering scandal-prone Facebook to ad domination.
Sheryl Sandberg, 52, was one of Silicon Valley’s most powerful women, and her exit comes as the social media behemoth confronts a bleak future and severe competition.
Sandberg announced her resignation as chief operational officer on her Facebook page, but she will remain on the board of Meta, the firm’s parent company.
“She has taught me so much and she has been there for many of the important moments in my life, both personally and professionally,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post.
“I’m going to miss running this company with Sheryl.”
Sandberg’s resignation comes as what began as an online social network rebrands itself as the metaverse, a virtual vision for the internet that Sandberg sees.
Since then, the Silicon Valley behemoth has been accused of causing harm by prioritizing business over user privacy and even the good of society.
Meanwhile, TikTok, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, and even Apple are vying for people’s attention online with Meta, as the Facebook social network is increasingly perceived as a domain for older people.
Sandberg’s position at the firm will not be replaced, according to Zuckerberg, but Javier Olivan will take over as Meta’s next chief operational officer.
But, unlike Sandberg’s close second-in-command status, the new COO will be more traditional, according to Zuckerberg.
“In our existing structure, I don’t plan to replace Sheryl’s role,” Zuckerberg stated.
“I’m not sure it’s realistic, given that she’s a superstar who defined the role of COO in her own special way.”
The news that Sandberg is departing sent Meta stock down by more than 2%, adding to a stock value that had already dropped after concerns that the company’s steady growth was coming to an end.