Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Meta and the longtime second in command to its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, said on Wednesday that she was stepping down after 14 years, as the corporate continues facing questions on its social media platform and because it navigates a transition to the so-called metaverse.
Ms. Sandberg, 52, said she was leaving Meta — which owns Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and other apps — this fall and that she planned to proceed serving on the corporate’s board of directors. In an interview, she said that joining Facebook was the “honor and privilege of a lifetime,” and that she initially expected to do it for roughly five years quite than the 14 she has served.
Ms. Sandberg said the job didn’t leave her with time for a lot of other pursuits and that she now wished to give attention to her personal philanthropy and her foundation, Lean In. She can be set to be married this summer, to Tom Bernthal, a television producer.
“I think on this company,” Ms. Sandberg said within the interview. “Have we gotten every part right? Absolutely not. Have we learned and listened and grown and invested where we want to? This team has and can.”
Mr. Zuckerberg named Javier Olivan, a longtime product executive, as Meta’s next chief operating officer. Mr. Olivan has overseen much of Facebook’s growth over the past decade, and has managed WhatsApp, Instagram, Messenger and Facebook.
Ms. Sandberg is ending her tenure at Meta removed from the reputational pinnacle she had reached last decade. As a key lieutenant to Mr. Zuckerberg, Ms. Sandberg helped construct up Facebook’s business in the corporate’s early years and was thought to be the adult within the room. Facebook’s promoting business flourished under her, and Ms. Sandberg used her corporate fame to talk up on other issues, corresponding to what women could achieve within the workplace.
But after the 2016 presidential election, Facebook got here under intense scrutiny for a way it was misused to stoke division and to spread misinformation. Ms. Sandberg was answerable for the policy and security team at the corporate during that election. The social network also was dogged by privacy questions after a scandal involving Cambridge Analytica, a voter-profiling firm that improperly used Facebook data.
Ms. Sandberg, who was certainly one of Facebook’s most visible executives, was unable to get better from those stumbles. Lately, Mr. Zuckerberg took a better public profile and a greater role in overseeing different parts of the corporate, lots of which had been under Ms. Sandberg’s sole purview.
Her departure also comes as Facebook is moving in a latest direction. Last 12 months, Mr. Zuckerberg renamed the corporate Meta and announced it could grow to be a key provider of the metaverse, an immersive online world. But as the corporate has been spending heavily on metaverse products, its promoting business has stumbled, partly due to privacy changes made by Apple which have hurt targeted promoting.
In February, Meta’s market value plunged by greater than $230 billion, its biggest one-day wipeout after it reported financial results that showed it was struggling to make the leap to the metaverse.
Within the interview, Ms. Sandberg said Meta faced near-term challenges but would weather the storm because it had during past challenges. “Once we went public, we had no mobile ads,” Ms. Sandberg said, citing the corporate’s rapid transition from desktop to smartphones last decade. “We’ve done this before.”
Ms. Sandberg has flirted with leaving Facebook up to now. In 2016, she told colleagues that if Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, won the White House she would most definitely assume a job in Washington, three individuals who spoke to her in regards to the move on the time said. In 2018, after revelations about Cambridge Analytica and Russia’s interference within the 2016 U.S. presidential election, she again told colleagues that she was considering leaving but didn’t wish to accomplish that once they were in crisis.
In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Mr. Zuckerberg praised Ms. Sandberg.
“It’s unusual for a business partnership like ours to last so long,” he wrote. “Sheryl architected our ads business, hired great people, forged our management culture, and taught me easy methods to run an organization.”
This can be a developing story. Check back for updates.