Co-CEO since 2008: Sheryl Sandberg leaves the Facebook group Meta

Co-director since 2008
Sheryl Sandberg leaves Facebook’s Meta

For years, she has worked closely with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Now Sheryl Sandberg is leaving the company. In the past, there have always been rumors of a chilled relationship with the Facebook boss.

Top manager Sheryl Sandberg, who was long considered the right hand of founder Mark Zuckerberg at the Facebook group Meta, is leaving the online giant. “After 14 years, I will leave Meta,” Sandberg wrote on his Facebook page. The years “next to Mark” Zuckerberg, the company’s boss and founder, were a great honor, but now she’s stepping down as CEO.

She will focus more on her charitable activities in the future, the 52-year-old says. The departure is scheduled for the fall, when their subordinate leaders would have gotten new superiors. Meta shares fell about 4 percent as a result of the news of the departure.

Sandberg gained her first experience at Google and joined Facebook in 2008. As head of the operational business, she played a leading role in the online network growing from a relatively small player in the online business to a billion-dollar company.

In recent years, there has been speculation about a chilled relationship between the 38-year-old Zuckerberg and Sandberg – which has always been rejected. Sandberg remains on the board of Meta, the group’s supervisory body.

Architect for Facebook’s advertising business

CEO Zuckerberg recognized Sandberg as the architect behind Facebook’s advertising business. “This is the end of an era,” said billionaire Zuckerberg. He remembered coming to Sandberg in 2008 when he was 23. At the time, he did not even understand anything about corporate governance.

The idea of ​​using insights into users and their interests to give advertisers access to the audiences they wanted turned out to be extremely lucrative.

When users switched from PCs to smartphones a decade ago, Facebook was initially unprepared with its ad banners. But Sandberg’s team quickly developed a system where ads were placed in the app between the individual postings.

It is “quite unlikely” that she will take a new job in a company or in politics, Sandberg says to the financial service Bloomberg. On the other hand, she learned long ago not to make any predictions about the future. Sandberg also made a name for himself as an advocate for a greater role for women in business.

Facebook and Meta are under pressure

At the same time, critics point out that Facebook’s data scandals, such as the controversy surrounding the analytics firm Cambridge Analytics, took place under Sandberg on the top floor. In recent years, there has been speculation about a chilled relationship between the 38-year-old Zuckerberg and Sandberg – which has always been rejected. Sandberg remains on the board of Meta, the group’s supervisory body.

Facebook and Meta are currently under pressure from several directions. Politicians are calling for it to be broken up, and competition watchdogs are also increasingly targeting tech giants. Apple’s move to more data protection on the iPhone also complicates business for Facebook. A year ago, Apple enforced that app developers like Facebook must first obtain users’ explicit permission in order to collect information about their behavior across various services and websites. Many users refused.

However, Meta complains that it has made it harder to customize the ads. Sandberg should not be replaced by anyone with an identical job, Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post. He is not sure if that would have been possible at all, as Sandberg is a “superstar”.

At the same time, however, Zuckerberg also expressed dissatisfaction with the previous design of the metastructures: the time may still be right to connect business and products better, he wrote. Facebook has recently noticed the competition from the video platform Tiktok with its short video clips. Meta now targets its own apps like Facebook and Instagram for similar short videos.

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