Sheryl Sandberg, longtime No. 2 exec at Fb, steps down

Sheryl Sandberg, the No. 2 exec at Fb proprietor Meta, is stepping down, consistent with a submit Wednesday on her Fb web page.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Sheryl Sandberg, the No. 2 govt at Fb proprietor Meta, is stepping down. Sandberg has served as leader running officer on the social media large for 14 years. She joined from Google in 2008, 4 years sooner than Fb went public.

“Once I took this task in 2008, I was hoping I might be on this function for 5 years. Fourteen years later, it’s time for me to write down the following bankruptcy of my lifestyles,” Sandberg wrote on her Fb web page Wednesday.

Sandberg has led Fb — now Meta’s — promoting industry and used to be liable for nurturing it from its infancy into an over $100 billion-a-year powerhouse. She’s leaving Meta within the fall and can proceed to serve at the corporate’s board.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated in his personal Fb submit that Javier Olivan will function Meta’s new COO, even supposing it’s going to be a unique task than the only Sandberg held for the previous 14 years.

“It is going to be a extra conventional COO function the place Javi can be targeted internally and operationally, construction on his sturdy observe file of constructing our execution extra environment friendly and rigorous,” Zuckerberg wrote.

Whilst Sandberg has lengthy been Zuckerberg’s No. 2, even sitting subsequent to him — pre-pandemic, a minimum of — within the corporate’s Menlo Park, California, headquarters, she additionally had an overly public-facing task, assembly with lawmakers, protecting focal point teams and talking out on problems corresponding to ladies within the place of job and, maximum lately, abortion.

“I believe Meta has reached the purpose the place it is smart for our product and industry teams to be extra intently built-in, fairly than having the entire industry and operations purposes arranged one at a time from our merchandise,” Zuckerberg wrote.

Sandberg, who misplaced her husband Dave Goldberg in 2015, stated she is “now not totally certain what the longer term will convey.”

“However I do know it’s going to come with focusing extra on my basis and philanthropic paintings, which is extra necessary to me than ever given how vital this second is for girls,” she wrote, including that she may be getting married this summer season, and that parenting their expanded circle of relatives of 5 youngsters may also be part of this long term.


Sandberg, 52, first helped Google construct what briefly become the web’s largest — and maximum profitable — promoting community sooner than leaving that corporate to take at the problem of reworking Fb’s freewheeling social community right into a money-making industry whilst additionally serving to to mentor Zuckerberg.

She proved to be precisely what the then-immature Zuckerberg and the corporate wanted on the appropriate time, serving to to pave methods to Fb’s extremely expected preliminary public providing of inventory a decade in the past.

Whilst Zuckerberg remained Fb’s visionary and controlling shareholder, Sandberg become engine of a industry fueled through a hastily rising virtual advert industry that has develop into just about as a hit as the person who she helped cobbled in combination round Google’s dominant seek engine.

Identical to Google’s advert empire, Fb’s industry thrived on its skill to stay its customers coming again for extra of its unfastened provider whilst leveraging its social networking services and products to be informed extra about folks’s pursuits, conduct, and whereabouts — a nosy style that has many times entangled the corporate into debates about whether or not a appropriate to private privateness nonetheless exists in an increasingly more virtual age.

As probably the most best feminine executives in era, Sandberg has from time to time has been held up as an inspiration for running ladies — a task she perceived to embody with a best-selling 2013 e-book known as “Lean In: Ladies, Paintings and the Will To Lead.”

However “Lean In” won right away grievance. New York Instances columnist Maureen Dowd known as Sandberg a “PowerPoint Pied Piper in Prada ankle boots,” and critics prompt she is the mistaken particular person to guide a ladies’s motion.

She addressed a few of that grievance in a next e-book that addressed the demise of her husband, Dave Goldberg. In 2015 she become an emblem of heartbreaking grief when Goldberg, died right through an coincidence whilst figuring out on holiday, widowing her along with her two youngsters as she persisted to assist run probably the most international’s best-known corporations.


In newer years, Sandberg become a polarizing determine amid revelations of the way a few of her industry selections for Fb helped propagate incorrect information and hate speech. Critics and an organization whistleblower contend that the effects have undermined democracy and brought about serious emotional issues for teenagers, specifically women.

The writer of “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism,” Shoshana Zuboff, stated Sandberg is as accountable as any person for what Zuboff considers considered one of Giant Tech’s maximum insidious invention: the gathering and group of knowledge on social media customers’ habits and personal tastes. That knowledge used to be shared with advertisers — who may additionally promote it to knowledge agents — and proved immensely successful. Sandberg did it, wrote Zuboff, “during the suave manipulation of Fb’s tradition of intimacy and sharing.”

Zuboff calls Sandberg the “Typhoid Mary” of surveillance capitalism.

“Sandberg might fancy herself a feminist, however beneath her management Fb has develop into a right-wing playground the place misogyny, racism, disinformation, violent organizing, and hateful conspiracy theories develop and unfold,” stated Shaunna Thomas, co-founder of UltraViolet, a gender justice advocacy group, in an April 22 electronic mail calling for Sandberg’s resignation. “For years, Sandberg has been in an optimum place to make Fb more secure for girls, however like CEO Mark Zuckerberg, she has constantly failed to do so.”

Sandberg has had some public missteps on the corporate, together with her try to deflect blame from Fb for the Jan. 6, 2021, rebel on the U.S. Capitol. In an interview later that month that used to be streamed through Reuters, she stated she idea the occasions of the day have been “in large part arranged on platforms that don’t have our talents to prevent hate, don’t have our requirements and don’t have our transparency.”

That grew to become out to be unfaithful. Inside paperwork, published through whistleblower Frances Haugen later that yr, confirmed that Fb’s personal workers have been involved in regards to the corporate’s halting and incessantly reversed reaction to emerging extremism within the U.S.

“Haven’t we had sufficient time to determine organize discourse with out enabling violence?” one worker wrote on an interior message board on the top of the Jan. 6 turmoil. “We’ve been fueling this hearth for a very long time and we shouldn’t be stunned it’s now out of regulate.”


AP Era Creator Michael Liedtke contributed to this tale.

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