Facebook, the parent company of Meta, has dominated the social media space for more than a decade. While Mark Zuckerberg is usually the most associated with the platform, Sheryl Sandberg has also played an essential role as the second-in-command. However, it was reported that she would be leaving the company.
The chief operating officer of Meta decided to part ways with the company after 14 years of service.
“The debate around social media has changed beyond recognition since those early days. To say it hasn’t always been easy is an understatement,” Sandberg wrote in a statement. “But it should be hard. The products we make have a huge impact, so we have the responsibility to build them in a way that protects privacy and keeps people safe.”
Despite leaving her position at Meta, Zuckerberg shared in a separate Facebook post that Sandberg will continue serving on the company’s board of directors. Taking her place as the COO is Javier Olvan, who currently serves as Meta’s Chief Growth Officer. However, his role will be different from Sandberg’s, and he will instead serve a more traditional COO role.
Before joining the Facebook family, Sheryl Sandberg was already a high-profile name in the tech industry, having previously served as Google’s vice president of global online sales and operations. Earlier in her career, she held senior roles at the World Bank and the Treasury Department.
Throughout her partnership with Zuckerberg, Sandberg played an instrumental role in growing Facebook’s revenue from about $150 million in 2007 to more than $3.7 billion in four years. The former COO also rose to prominence when she was labeled one of the most influential women in tech. Sandberg used her momentum to launch the Lean In movement, which offered a plan for how women can succeed in their endeavors and achieve their goals.
Even as it shifted from being branded as an exciting new venture to a scandal-prone organization with several accusations that included undermining democracy, Sandberg remained with the company. She also dealt with the same challenges that Zuckerberg faced, including misinformation, allegations of political bias, and looming regulation. The challenges prompted her to face unforeseen questions that eluded her when she initially joined the company.
Amid the public policy issues, a rift ensued between Sandberg and Zuckerberg during the Trump administration, which only seemed to widen through the years. Although there were rumors she would leave the company, Zuckerberg assured people she wasn’t going anywhere in 2018. However, Sandberg’s recent resignation prompted the Meta CEO to write a post addressing the situation.
Sheryl Sandberg is yet to disclose the reason for her departure.