Sheryl Sandberg is stepping down as COO, one of the highest-ranking executives of Meta, after 14 years of having worked with the company.
According to The Verge, she will retain her seat on Meta’s board. Mark Zuckerberg reportedly has no plans to replace her role as it currently exists either.
Sandberg joined the now successful tech company in 2008 to work hand-in-hand with Zuckerberg, who is the founder of the company. Her exit comes as the company shifts to focus on the metaverse, a simulated digital environment that uses virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), blockchain, and concepts from social media to create spaces mimicking the real world.
Facebook rebranded to Meta in October 2021.
“Sitting by Mark’s side for these 14 years has been the honor and privilege of a lifetime. Mark is a true visionary and a caring leader. He sometimes says that we grew up together, and we have,” Sandberg wrote in an emotional Facebook post.
Sandberg started working with Zuckerberg when he was only 23 years old when the company was still in its developing stages. She was 38 years old at the time. She describes Zuckerberg as a true visionary and a caring leader.
“When I joined Facebook, I had a two-year-old son and a six-month-old daughter. I did not know if this was the right time for a new and demanding role. The messages were everywhere that women – and I – could not be both a leader and a good mother, but I wanted to give it a try,” she recounted the time she joined Facebook.
“Once I started, I realized that to see my children before they went to sleep, I had to leave the office at 5:30 p.m., which was when work was just getting going for many of my new colleagues. In my previous role at Google, there were enough people and buildings that leaving early wasn’t noticed, but Facebook was a small startup and there was nowhere to hide,” she said.
“The end of an era. In the 14 years we’ve worked together, you’ve architected our ads business, hired great people, forged our management culture, and taught me how to run a company,” Zuckerberg said.
Sandberg will be working with Zuckerberg to transition her direct reports and she will leave the company around “fall,” she said.
By Zintle Nkohla
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