Sheryl Sandberg is stepping down as Meta’s chief operating officer after working for 14 years alongside Mark Zuckerberg.
The senior executive announced her decision in a Facebook post, where she said that it was time for her to “write the next chapter of my life.”
“Over the next few months, Mark and I will transition my direct reports and I will leave the company this fall,” she wrote.
After the news broke out, Meta’s shares dropped 2.58 per cent, closing at $118.64.
Commenting on Sandberg’s resignations, Meta’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said it was “the end of an era.”
The 38-year-old billionaire said that he appointed Javier Olivan as the next chief operating officer but that new senior executive will not have carry out the same functions as Sandberg.
“Looking forward, I don’t plan to replace Sheryl’s role in our existing structure,” he said. “I’m not sure that would be possible since she’s a superstar who defined the COO role in her own unique way.”
Sandberg’s decision to step down comes at a delicate time for the social media group, as Meta has been heavily criticised over the last few years for being a tool for misinformation and hate speech.
Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen recently accused the company of acting as an “amplifier and inducer” for dangerous online behaviour rather than being a “mirror” for it, City A.M. reported.
“Mark has solutions that he could use today”, Haugen explained, but added that the ‘profit over people’ mindset engrained into Facebook’s culture has made it undesirable for the Silicon Valley to actually act on.