Sheryl Sandberg to step down from Meta’s board

‘This feels like the right time to step away,’ Sandberg says in Facebook post

Vishwam Sankaran
Thursday 18 January 2024 04:02 GMT
Related video: Meta, facing heat from all sides, announces safety measures for minors

Facebook’s founding chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg announced on Wednesday that she was leaving parent company Meta’s board of directors in May.

“With a heart filled with gratitude and a mind filled with memories, I let the Meta board know that I will not stand for reelection this May,” Ms Sandberg wrote in a post on Instagram, sharing a picture of her with Meta chief Mark Zuckerberg.

This marks an end to her over 14-year stint at Meta, where she remained on its nine-seat board after stepping down as the tech giant’s chief operating officer in 2022.

“The Meta business is strong and well positioned for the future, so this feels like the right time to step away,” Ms Sandberg wrote, adding that in the future, she would serve as an advisor to the company.

“I will always be there to help the Meta teams,” she said.

In a comment on Ms Sandberg’s Facebook post, Mr Zuckerberg said she was “instrumental” in driving Meta’s success.

“I am grateful for your unwavering commitment to me and Meta over the years,” the Meta chief said.

Ms Sandberg, who has a net worth of over $1.9bn according to Forbes, joined Facebook as the company chief operating officer in March 2008 and was elected to its board of directors in 2012 at a time when the tech giant was being criticised for having very few women on its board.

She led the company’s advertising section and was responsible for growing it from its infancy into an over $100bn-a-year business.

Lawsuit against social media giants

The 54-year-old soon became one of the leading women in the tech industry, going on to write the best-selling book “Lean In” in 2013 about her experience.

In June 2022, Ms Sandberg announced she was stepping down as Facebook’s chief operating officer to focus on her philanthropic work.

“Serving as Facebook’s - and then Meta’s - COO for 14 ½ years and a board member for 12 years has been the opportunity of a lifetime. I will always be grateful to Mark for believing in me and for his partnership and friendship,” she said.

Prior to joining Facebook, the Harvard MBA was at Google for over six years, and an economist at the World Bank and chief of staff to then US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers before that.

“I will always be grateful to my colleagues and teammates at Meta for all the years of working side by side and all they taught me,” Ms Sandberg said on Wednesday.

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