scorecardSheryl Sandberg is stepping down from Meta after 14 years
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Sheryl Sandberg is stepping down from Meta after 14 years

Katie Canales   

Sheryl Sandberg is stepping down from Meta after 14 years
Tech2 min read
Lino Mirgeler/picture alliance via Getty Images
  • Sheryl Sandberg is leaving Meta after 14 years at the company.
  • She has served as its chief operating officer since 2008 and will stay on Meta's board of directors.

Sheryl Sandberg will leave her post as the head of operations at Meta, Facebook's parent company, later this year.

Sandberg has been CEO Mark Zuckerberg's right-hand woman since becoming chief operating officer in 2008 and will remain on the company's board of directors.

"When I took this job in 2008, I hoped I would be in this role for five years," Sandberg said in a Facebook post announcing the news.

"Fourteen years later, it is time for me to write the next chapter of my life. I am not entirely sure what the future will bring — I have learned no one ever is," she wrote. "But I know it will include focusing more on my foundation and philanthropic work, which is more important to me than ever given how critical this moment is for women."

In an interview with Bloomberg, Sandberg said the decision to leave was a difficult one and that her role was "not the most manageable job anyone has ever had." She added that she's planning to get married this summer and intended to spend time with her two children, plus her fiancé's three kids.

Sandberg will be replaced by Javier Olivan, though the company said his role would not look exactly like Sandberg's.

"I don't plan to replace Sheryl's role in our existing structure," Zuckerberg said. "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."

Sandberg, 52, has weathered many a scandal at Facebook over the past decade. She has testified in intense congressional hearings, including in defense of the social network's role in the now infamous Cambridge Analytica scandal.

She's been a vocal advocate for women's rights in the workplace. In March 2013, she published "Lean In," a best-selling book that includes advice for women seeking to establish themselves in the workforce and advance their careers.

Shares of Meta fell about 2.5% Wednesday afternoon following the announcement.