Meta’s second most powerful executive Sheryl Sandberg made the shock announcement Wednesday she will leave after a 14-year tenure that included helping steer scandal-prone Facebook to advertising dominance. Sandberg, 52, has been one of the most influential women in Silicon Valley and her departure comes as the social media juggernaut faces an uncertain future and fierce competition. Her exit from Facebook parent Meta will be effective in the fall, she wrote on the platform, adding she planned to remain on the firm’s board. A Harvard-educated executive, Sandberg joined Facebook in 2008 when it was still just a startup, playing a formative role in its development into a multi-billion dollar advertising empire.
“Fourteen years later, it is time for me to write the next chapter of my life,” Sandberg said. “I am not entirely sure what the future will bring — I have I have learned no one ever is.” Her job made her not just a recognizable face in tech but also a household name, particularly thanks to her 2013 book “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.” The best seller encouraged women to “lean in” to their careers in order to reach their full potential and overcome workforce obstacles.
It has drawn applause from admirers for articulating a new modern feminist vision and sharp criticism from detractors who say her lofty position has made her out of touch with the grueling personal cost of combining career and family. The social network has recently rebranded itself in a pivot toward a belief the internet is headed towards becoming an immersive virtual world, referred to as the metaverse.
The Silicon Valley colossus has seen its image tainted by accusations it has put profit over user privacy and even the good of society.