Sheryl Sandberg To Step Down As Meta COO After 14 Years

It seems that Sheryl Sandberg is stepping down from her role as chief operating officer at Meta, formerly known as Facebook. She has been with the company for fourteen years.

An executive announced the news on Wednesday afternoon, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter.

Sheryl Sandberg To Remain On Meta’s Board Of Directors

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg speaks at The Girl's Lounge for the Cannes Lions 2017

Although Sandberg will remain on Meta’s board of directors, she will be succeeded in her role by Meta’s chief growth officer, Javier Olivan. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post that he doesn’t “plan to replace Sheryl’s role in our existing structure.”

“Looking forward, I don’t plan to replace Sheryl’s role in our existing structure. I’m not sure that would be possible since she’s a superstar who defined the COO role in her own unique way,” he wrote. “But even if it were possible, I think Meta has reached the point where it makes sense for our product and business groups to be more closely integrated, rather than having all the business and operations functions organized separately from our products.”

“I’m sad that the day is coming when I won’t get to work as closely with Sheryl,” he wrote at the end of his post. “But more than anything, I’m grateful for everything she has done to build Meta. She has done so much for me, for our community, and for the world — and we’re all better off for it.”

Sheryl Sandberg Talks Career Move In Lengthy Facebook Post

In a lengthy Facebook post, she called “Sitting by Mark’s side for these 14 years has been the honor and privilege of a lifetime.” She had nothing but positive things to say about Zuckerberg, calling him “a true visionary and a caring leader.”

“He sometimes says that we grew up together, and we have,” she went on. “He was just 23 and I was already 38 when we met, but together we have been through the massive ups and downs of running this company, as well as his marriage to the magnificent Priscilla, the sorrow of their miscarriages and the joy of their childbirths, the sudden loss of Dave, my engagement to Tom, and so much more. In the critical moments of my life, in the highest highs and in the depths of true lows, I have never had to turn to Mark, because he was already there.”

“I am beyond grateful to the thousands of brilliant, dedicated people at Meta with whom I have had the privilege of working over the last 14 years,” she went on. “Every day someone does something that stops me in my tracks and reminds me how lucky I am to be surrounded by such remarkable colleagues. This team is filled with exceptionally talented people who have poured their hearts and minds into building products that have had a profound impact on the world.”

“The debate around social media has changed beyond recognition since those early days,” she wrote. “To say it hasn’t always been easy is an understatement. But it should be hard. The products we make have a huge impact, so we have the responsibility to build them in a way that protects privacy and keeps people safe.”

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg speaks at The Girl's Lounge for the Cannes Lions 2017

“Just as I believe wholeheartedly in our mission, our industry, and the overwhelmingly positive power of connecting people, I and the dedicated people of Meta have felt our responsibilities deeply,” she added. “I know that the extraordinary team at Meta will continue to work tirelessly to rise to these challenges and keep making our company and our community better. I also know that our platforms will continue to be an engine of growth for the businesses around the world that rely on us.”

“I am so immensely proud of everything this team has achieved,” she added. “The businesses we’ve helped and the business we’ve built. The culture we’ve nurtured together. And I’m especially proud that this is a company where many, many exceptional women and people from diverse backgrounds have risen through our ranks and become leaders – both in our company and in leadership roles elsewhere.”

She concluded, “Thank you to the colleagues who inspire me every day with their commitment to our mission, to our partners around the world who have enabled us to build a business that serves their businesses, and especially to Mark for giving me this opportunity and being one of the best friends anyone could ever have.”

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