Meta chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg steps downtext_fields
California: Putting a 14-year career in Facebook to rest, Sheryl Sandberg has announced her step down as chief operating officer in the social media platform as well as its parent company Meta, The Guardian reports.
Sandberg announced her leaving the job, which made her one of the most influential women executives the world ever saw, through a Facebook post on Wednesday. She added that she will remain on Meta's board but will focus on her foundation and philanthropic work. She wrote that she is not sure about what the future holds for her.
She wrote that when she took the job in 2008, she hoped to be in the position for five years, but she handled it for 14 years, and it is time for her to write a new chapter of her life. Thanking Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, she said that sitting next to mark for the past 14 years was an honour and privilege. She also wrote about how the tech landscape has evolved since she joined Facebook. The products they make have a huge impact, and thus, they have an enormous responsibility to create their products, protect the privacy and keep people's security.
Reacting to Sanderberg's announcement, Zuckerberg wrote in his own Facebook post that this is the end of an era, and Sandberg deserves the credit for so much of what Meta is at present.
Before Facebook, Sandberg had held positions in Google and Clinton administration. Joining the company four years after it was founded, Sandberg stood on Facebook, guiding the platform through its many years of public controversies, shaping its policies and monitoring responses. She was responsible was in the lead of the company's advertising business and was in it from its infancy to its growth into a Silicon Valley giant. She published her female empowerment manifesto Lean In in 2013.
Further, she had overseen the company's operations through its recent financial fall as it was preparing to shift its core media platforms into virtual reality. Facebook's introduction of 'metaverse' cost them not only a hefty investment but also disappointing earnings along with a fall in daily user numbers.
Post the "worst ever" earnings report, according to The Guardian, one billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel stepped down from the Meta board, and there are signs of more leaving the company. Sandberg's departure from her job in the company comes at this juncture.
But, Facebook, along with Zuckerberg and Sandberg, had become subjects to public scrutiny recently after them whistleblower Frances Haugen leaked certain documents, and those were submitted before Congress, while many media houses published the papers.
The documents revealed the extent of Facebook's knowledge of the spread of disinformation and hate speech on the platform. They also revealed how Meta was reluctant to stop the spread, particularly censoring the right-wing news organisations, fearing the Trump administration in the US. Further, a leak revealed Meta's internal studies that showed severe mental health issues Instagram induces in teens.
In the past also, Sandberg's behaviour inside the company got scrutinised. She allegedly directed Facebook employees to go through the finances of George Soros, who criticised the platform. She was summoned before Congress in 2018 for her testimony on the spread of misinformation and manipulations of the 2018 House of Representatives elections.