Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is photographed at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, CA on Friday, June 16, 2017. Sandberg, the No. 2 executive at Facebook owner Meta, who helped turn its business from a startup to a digital advertising empire while also taking the blame for some of its biggest missteps, is stepping down.
Sheryl Sandberg on Wednesday said she would be leaving her role as a chief operating officer of Facebook parent Meta Platforms closing out her tenure helping lead one of the world’s most profitable and controversial companies.
Ms. Sandberg said she would continue to serve as a member of Meta’s board.
In a post on her Facebook profile, Ms. Sandberg said she would continue to serve as a member of Meta’s board. In a securities filing, Meta said she informed the company on Saturday of her intention to resign.
Ms. Sandberg said her late husband told her she should take the job if she was planning to stay five years, and she stayed for 14.
“I really feel like the next generation of leaders are ready,” Ms. Sandberg said in an interview. “It’s been a long and great partnership with Mark, I really believe in the company, and I’m staying on the board. But it’s probably time for me to have more flexibility and more ability to do more things with my time.”
Javier Olivan, currently chief growth officer,
will take over as the company’s COO when Ms. Sandberg leaves.
During her time at the company, Ms. Sandberg built out the business side, turning a free-to-access social-media startup founded in a Harvard dorm room into one of the biggest advertising companies on the planet. Last year, the company reported nearly $115 billion in advertising revenue.
“But even if it were possible, I think Meta has reached the point where it makes sense for our product and business groups to be more closely integrated, rather than having all the business and operations functions organized separately from our products,” he said.
Meta has come under fire in recent years for its massive influence
Meta has come under fire in recent years for its massive influence, its lack of success in stopping the spread of misinformation and harmful material, and its acquisitions of one-time rivals like Instagram and WhatsApp. Zuckerberg and other execs have been forced to testify before Congress multiple times in the last three years, although Sandberg has largely escaped that spotlight. The company currently faces an antitrust lawsuit from the Federal Trade Commission and could see scrutiny from other agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission after a whistleblower filed a complaint about its efforts to combat hate on its platform.
Sandberg leveraged her success with Facebook to elevate her own profile, especially among women in the workplace.
In 2013, she released the book “Lean In Women, Work, and the Will to Lead,” focusing on the challenges women face in the workplace and what they can do to advance their careers.
In 2015, she was faced with the unexpected death of her husband Dave Goldberg, who suffered cardiac arrhythmia and collapsed on a treadmill. Sandberg has spoken at length about dealing with the grief of Goldberg’s passing, and in 2017, she released a book titled “Option B” centered around the topic.