Sheryl Sandberg is leaving Meta board. The former Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Meta, has announced her departure from Meta’s board of directors, concluding her last official role at the company. After a significant tenure of 14 years as COO and 12 years as a board member, Sandberg's departure marks the end of an era for Meta.
In her Facebook post, Sandberg expressed, “this feels like the right time to step away” and assured that she would continue advising the company.
“After I left my role as COO, I remained on the board to help ensure a successful transition,” Sandberg wrote. “Under Mark's leadership, Javi Olivan, Justin Osofsky, Nicola Mendelsohn, and their teams have proven beyond a doubt that the Meta business is strong and well-positioned for the future, so this feels like the right time to step away.” Her role as a board member will officially end in May.
During her tenure at Meta, Sandberg played a pivotal role in leading the company's multibillion-dollar advertising business. Axios reported that under her guidance, Meta's revenue soared by an astonishing 43,000%. However, her influence within the company saw changes in recent years, particularly as CEO Mark Zuckerberg shifted focus towards the development of the metaverse.
Sandberg’s impact at Meta is undeniable. She joined the company, then known as Facebook, in 2008, coming from a robust background that included being the vice president of global online sales and operations at Google and holding senior roles at the World Bank and the Treasury Department under President Bill Clinton. In her early years at Facebook, Sandberg was often seen as the "adult supervision" for the company led by a young Zuckerberg.
Together with Zuckerberg, Sandberg was instrumental in growing Facebook’s revenue from about $150 million in 2007 to over $3.7 billion in 2011, a year before the company went public. Her influence extended beyond financial growth; she was a key figure in shaping the company’s management culture.
“Sheryl architected our ads business, hired great people, forged our management culture, and taught me how to run a company,” Zuckerberg reflected in a June 2022 Facebook post.
However, Sandberg’s time at Meta was not without challenges. The company faced intense scrutiny over various issues, including accusations of undermining democracy and contributing to societal harms. Despite these challenges, Sandberg played a significant role in the company’s rebranding to Meta in 2021, signaling a strategic shift towards building the metaverse, an immersive digital world.
In her departure announcement, Sandberg said, “With a heart filled with gratitude and a mind filled with memories, I let the Meta board know that I will not stand for reelection this May.” She noted her intention to focus more on philanthropic work but will continue to serve as an advisor to Meta.
Zuckerberg expressed his gratitude towards Sandberg, saying, “Thank you Sheryl for the extraordinary contributions you have made to our company and community over the years. Your dedication and guidance have been instrumental in driving our success and I am grateful for your unwavering commitment to me and Meta over the years.”
Sandberg’s contributions extend beyond her corporate role. Her philanthropic organization, Lean In, is dedicated to helping women achieve their goals in the workplace and corporate culture. Her book "Lean In," published in 2013, further propelled her to celebrity status, becoming a touchstone for discussions about women in leadership.
As Meta navigates the post-Sandberg era, the company has not yet commented on who will take over her board seat. Her departure comes at a time when Meta is deeply invested in the development of the metaverse, a venture that has yet to reveal a clear path for an advertising business, a domain where Sandberg had significantly contributed.
Sheryl Sandberg's tenure at Meta, marked by remarkable growth and significant challenges, leaves a lasting impact on the company and the tech industry at large. Her departure signals not only the end of an era but also the beginning of a new chapter for both Sandberg and Meta.