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Sheryl Sandberg Steps Down as COO of Meta

Sheryl Sandberg will exit her role of Chief Operating Officer after 14 years of Facebook-turned-Meta. Mark Zuckerberg obviously announced this in a Facebook post. He credited Sandberg for her work in building and scaling the company to the tech giant it is today.

“When Sheryl joined me in 2008, I was only 23 years old and I barely knew anything about running a company. We’d built a great product — the Facebook website — but we didn’t yet have a profitable business and we were struggling to transition from a small startup to a real organization. Sheryl architected our ads business, hired great people, forged our management culture, and taught me how to run a company. She created opportunities for millions of people around the world, and she deserves the credit for so much of what Meta is today,” Zuckerberg said.

Sandberg’s history:

Sandberg worked as the Treasury Secretary’s chief of staff during the Clinton administration. She joined Google before the company went public and still had under 300 employees. Sandberg honed her advertising business skills there and helped them build their advertising network.

Meta weathered many storms during her tenure as COO. She served as Zuckerberg’s second in command and testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2018. She addressed questions about then-Facebook’s involvement with allowing election interference.

Her 2013 book, “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” was a bestseller but also faced heavy criticism. Former First Lady Michelle Obama famously addressed it while promoting her own book saying, “And it’s not always enough to lean in, because that shit doesn’t work all the time.”

She wrote “Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy” in 2017 about her husband’s sudden death. She’s getting remarried to Tom Bernthal, founder and CEO of Kelton Global, this summer.

What’s next:

Javier Olivan will take over as COO sometime this fall and Sandberg will continue to serve on Meta’s board of directors. Sandberg admitted she didn’t expect to be in this role as long as she was.

“When I took this job in 2008, I hoped I would be in this role for five years. Fourteen years later, it is time for me to write the next chapter of my life. I am not entirely sure what the future will bring – I have learned no one ever is. But I know it will include focusing more on my foundation and philanthropic work, which is more important to me than ever given how critical this moment is for women.”

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