Mark Zuckerberg, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Meta, yesterday announced that his good friend and partner Sheryl Sandberg is stepping down as chief operating officer (COO) of Meta after serving the company for 14 years.
“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 organization. Sheryl architected our ads business, hired great people, forged our management culture, and taught me 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,” Zuckerberg noted in the announcement.
Sandberg will continue to serve on Meta’s board of directors after she transitions out of her day-to-day management role in the coming months.
“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. 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,” Zuckerberg added.
Some of the members of the team that Sandberg has built have already stepped up into larger roles reporting to Zuckerberg, like Nick Clegg as president of global affairs and Jennifer Newstead as the chief legal officer.
Marne Levine, Meta’s current chief business officer and the top business person who handles Meta’s partnerships, will report to Javier Olivan, current chief growth officer and vice-president, Cross-Meta Products and Infrastructure, so that the company’s Ads and Business Platform product group will be closer to the Meta Business Group, said Zuckerberg.
Olivan will become Meta’s next chief operating officer, since he will now lead the company’s integrated ads and business products in addition to continuing to lead its infrastructure, integrity, analytics, marketing, corporate development and growth teams. But this role will be different from Sandberg’s.
“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. As part of this, Molly Cutler, our VP Strategic Response, will join Javi’s team and report to Naomi Gleit,” explained Zuckerberg.
Instagram COO Justin Osofsky will report to Facebook’s chief product officer Chris Cox. In addition to his role overseeing global operations and Instagram’s business organization, Osofsky will now take on the additional responsibility of building a content team that works across business and products that will train Meta’s AI recommendation systems to help users discover relevant and personalized content across Facebook and Instagram.
Lastly, Lori Goler, Head of People at Meta, will now report directly to Zuckerberg. Maxine Williams, Meta’s chief diversity officer, will continue her role on the company’s People team, as well as working on Zuckerberg’s team.