Sheryl Sandberg steps down as Meta COO – Image: Disclosure/World Economic Forum
After 14 years as Mark Zuckerberg’s right-hand man at Facebook (now Meta), Sheryl Sandberg is stepping down as chief operating officer at a time when the company is concentrating on and investing in Meta cosmic transition.
In a post to his Facebook profile late Wednesday, June 1, Sandberg said he would be stepping down in the northern hemisphere “fall” starting at the end of September, but he would become a director of board member Meta.
Javier Olivan, another senior executive who has been with the company for many years, will take over, currently serving as Meta’s director of growth.
During his tenure at the company, Sandberg helped transform Facebook from a free social network founded in a Harvard dorm to one of the global tech giants, going public since 2012, with $118 billion in revenue in 2021 and a $535.7 billion market cap.
The exit comes at a time when the Metaverse is a priority for the company for the next few years. Last October, when he announced the new directive that even resulted in a company name change, Zuckerberg said the metaverse “will affect every product we build.”
Despite being considered a company executive and someone Zuckerberg trusted, Sandberg was not involved in the project. Fheard by the newspaper Wall Street Journal Alleging she was absent from many meetings about the company’s plans for the new space.
Zuckerberg thanked Sandberg for his work on Facebook, saying it was “the end of an era” and the new chief operating officer would play a different role than Sandberg. According to him, Olivier will become a “more traditional” executive focused on operational and internal issues.
“I do not intend to replace Shirley’s role in our current structure, nor do I think it is possible,” he wrote. “But even if that were possible, I believe Meta has reached a point where it makes our product and business areas more integrated.”
Metaverse represents Meta’s major bet in creating an alternative to the social network in a market where it has been facing stiff competition from TikTok for adoption by young people.
This is reflected in the slower growth in Facebook’s daily active user base. In the first quarter of this year, it increased by 4.3% compared to the same period in 2021. In the first quarter of 2021, it increased by 7.7% year-on-year.
Facebook’s decline in popularity became apparent late last year. The fourth quarter saw the first quarterly user churn in the platform’s history. At that time, the daily active user base fell slightly, from 1.93 billion to 1.29 billion.
This fall and a bad time for tech companies to face U.S. interest rate hikes caused Meta to lose $237.2 billion in market value the day after its balance sheet was released, the largest one-day loss in history. US market.
In addition to prioritizing the Metaverse, Sandberg’s departure comes after a series of attritions at the company facing data privacy and content moderation issues, and finally fell into the hands of executives.
Over the years, she has shared with Zuckerberg the company’s role as a spokesperson in controversial events. In 2018, he testified before the U.S. Congress, accusing Russia of using the platform to allegedly rig the presidential election.
That same year came the case of election consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, which had unauthorized access to the personal data of millions of social network users and irregularly manipulated the information of Facebook users in the United States for election purposes.
In his post announcing his departure, Sandberg did not elaborate on the reasons for his decision. The executive said she wants to devote more time to her foundation, which has two initiatives: encouraging the empowerment of women in the job market, and encouraging the resilience of traumatized people and communities.
However, according to sources the newspaper learned Wall Street Journalshe confided that she was exhausted and a “punching bag” for the company’s problems.
Meta shares were up 4.87% at $197.79 on the Nasdaq at around 2:31 p.m. During the year, they have fallen by a cumulative 41.6%.