Facebook-parent Meta confirmed on Wednesday that Sheryl Sandberg is stepping down as the chief operating officer of the company.
Announcing her resignation, Sandberg wrote on Facebook, “The debate around social media has changed beyond recognition since those early days. 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.”
She did not disclose the reason for her departure from the company, which will take place in the fall. Sandberg said she planned to focus on her philanthropic work going forward. She has worked for the company for 14 years.
Sandberg will continue to serve on the company’s board of directors, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a separate Facebook post. Javier Olivan, the company’s Chief Growth Officer, will become its next COO, but his role will be “different from what Sheryl has done” and “a more traditional COO role,” Zuckerberg added.
“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,” he said.
“When Sheryl joined me in 2008, I was only 23 years old and I barely knew anything about running a company,” Zuckerberg said in his post. “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.”
In the end, Zuckerberg said: “It’s unusual for a business partnership like ours to last so long. I think ours did because Sheryl is such an amazing person, leader, partner, and friend.”