After 14 years of presence, Sheryl Sandberg has decided to leave her position as director of operations within Meta, the parent company of Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram or even Messenger. In the fall, one of the most powerful women in tech will leave Mark Zuckerberg alone in command of a profitable company, but also often at the heart of the storm.
It is obviously on Facebook that she posted the news. ” Today, I am announcing to you that after 14 years, I will be leaving Meta “, wrote Sheryl Sandberg in a long message. The chief operating officer decided to leave the social media giant, owner of Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger, in the fall. At almost 53 years old, she wants to turn to a new adventure.
“The honor and the privilege of a lifetime”, this is how she notably defined these years spent alongside Mark Zuckerberg who had poached her from Google to make her his right arm in 2008. In her post, she returns in particular to their meeting and how he managed to convince her to join “The Facebook”.
Mark Zuckberger responded to Sheryl Sandberg’s message by referring to “The end of an era ” and “a superstar “who gave him”learned how to run a business, before embarking in turn on a long eulogy on the social network to pay tribute to his friend.
Passed by the consulting group McKinsey & Cie, economist at the World Bank, head of service at the United States Department of the Treasury under Bill Clinton before becoming vice-president of online sales and operations at Google, Sheryl Sandberg is a respected and important personality. of Silicon Valley. Considered one of the most influential and powerful women in tech, she has spent the past 14 years building scale at Facebook and then Meta, restructuring the advertising side to make it an industry ogre, as she sees it. had developed at Google.
Powerful, efficient, but in the eye of the storm
Above all, Sheryl Sandberg has enabled the company to acquire a real economic identity, the point that was weak for Zuckerberg before his arrival and the part that he was far from fond of, preferring operational and technical development. She also manages communications and public affairs to promote Facebook’s image. The duo thus formed will quickly find their bearings, both at work and in their personal relationship, while Sheryl Sandberg accidentally loses her first husband, Dave Goldberg, boss of SurveyMonkey, in 2015, and Zuckerberg and his wife chain the difficulties of founding a family. “Thank you for everything you have done for me and my family, for our business, and for millions of people around the world.”he writes to her.
But she also sometimes found herself at the heart of the storm, forced to manage in particular the Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2018 and the misappropriation of data of millions of users for the benefit of Donald Trump’s campaign. She also had to try to defuse the affair of the Facebook Papers, internal documents revealing flaws in the management and moderation of the company’s various social networks, including Instagram, by Frances Haugen, a whistleblower. But also to face the various attacks suffered by Facebook regarding its inability to stop hate messages, fake news and other situations that would have had an impact on elections. The arrival of Nick Clegg, former British Deputy Prime Minister, will have been of great help to him to discharge global affairs and manage the multiple complaints of which Meta was the target.
“The debate around social networks has changed so much since its inception that it has become unrecognizable. To say it hasn’t always been easy is an understatement.”recognizes the COO in his post.
A departure that displeases the Stock Exchange
Zuckerberg also announced that the role of Sheryl Sandberg would not be repeated in the existing structure. “I don’t think that’s possible because she’s a superstar who redefined the COO role in a unique way“, he explains. However, Javi Olivan should resume his duties, in the words of the Facebook boss, “in a role (which) will be different from that of Sheryl. It will be that of a more traditional COO in which Javi will focus more internally and operationally.His main mission will be to manage advertising in a more transverse and integrated way between the different activities of the group.
The future ex-number 2 of the group does not give any reason for her choice or a future destination. She will probably devote herself to her associationlean-inwho wants to fight against stereotypes and encourage women not to be afraid to take important positions. But Sheryl Sandberg does not completely disappear from Meta’s organization chart. She remains a member of the company’s board of directors. The announcement of his resignation nevertheless surprised the Stock Exchange and Meta shares lost 2.5% on Wednesday evening.
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