Meta COO Sheryl Sandberg steps down after 14 years


• Meta CEO Zuckerberg: “It’s the end of an era.”

Meta chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg is stepping down from her executive role with the tech giant.

Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Facebook, shared the news in a post on his Facebook: “It’s the end of an era. After 14 years, my good friend and partner Sheryl Sandberg is stepping down as COO of Meta.

“When Sheryl joined me in 2008, I was only 23 years old and I barely knew anything about running a company. We’d built a great product — the Facebook website — but we didn’t yet have a profitable business and we were struggling to transition from a small startup to a real organisation.”

The founder credited his number two with designing their ads business, hiring great people, forging their management culture, and teaching him how to run a company. “She created opportunities for millions of people around the world, and she deserves the credit for so much of what Meta is today,” he said.

Zuckerberg continued to praised Sandberg, calling her: “an amazing person, leader, partner, and friend. She cares deeply about the people in her life and she is generous about nurturing relationships and helping you grow as a person.”


While the CEO noted that he will miss running the company alongside Sandberg, he revealed that she will continue to serve on Meta’s board of directors

Zuckerberg also praised Sandberg for building a great leadership team including Nick Clegg as president, global affairs and Jennifer Newstead as chief legal officer. 

Marne Levine, our chief business officer and the top business person who handles our partnerships, will report to Javier Olivan so that our Ads and Business Platform product group will be closer to the Meta Business Group,” he added.

The CEO also revealed Olivan will replace Sandberg in the COO role. He added: “But this role will be different from what Sheryl has done. It will be a more traditional COO role where Javi will be focused internally and operationally, building on his strong track record of making our execution more efficient and rigorous.”

“I’m sad that the day is coming when I won’t get to work as closely with Sheryl. 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,” Zuckerberg added.


Meanwhile, Sandberg shared her own post on Facebook about her departure from the tech giant: “When I first met Mark, I was not really looking for a new job – and I could have never predicted how meeting him would change my life.

The Lean In author recalled: “We were at a holiday party at Daniel L Rosensweig‘s house. I was introduced to Mark as I walked in the door, and we started talking about his vision for Facebook.

“Mark’s belief that people would put their real selves online to connect with other people was so mesmerizing that we stood by that door and talked for the rest of the night. I told Dan later that I got a new life at that party but never got a single drink, so he owed me one. Many months later, after countless – and I mean countless – dinners and conversations with Mark, he offered me this job.”

Sandberg called working alongside the CEO “the honor and privilege of a lifetime,” and added: “Mark is a true visionary and a caring leader. He sometimes says that we grew up together, and we have.”

“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,” she said.


Sandberg said that when she accepted the role in 2008, she had hope to stay on for five years. “Fourteen years later, it is time for me to write the next chapter of my life. I am not entirely sure what the future will bring – I have learned no one ever is.

“But I know it will include focusing more on my foundation and philanthropic work, which is more important to me than ever given how critical this moment is for women. And as Tom and I get married this summer, parenting our expanded family of five children.

“Over the next few months, Mark and I will transition my direct reports and I will leave the company this fall. I still believe as strongly as ever in our mission, and I am honored that I will continue to serve on Meta’s board of directors,” she added.

Sandberg said: “I am so immensely proud of everything this team has achieved. 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 added: “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.”

Top image: Mark Zuckerberg with Sheryl Sandberg


To Top