Sheryl Sandberg was a Google executive when Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg recruited her to work for his social network in 2008. At the time, Zuckerberg explained that he had hired Sandberg because “she has just about the most relevant industry experience for Facebook, especially since we need to scale our operations and scale them globally.” Sandberg is now Facebook’s chief operating officer.
Ms. Sandberg reacted in kind. She was quoted as saying at the time that the potential to assist another fledgling firm in developing into a worldwide leader was the opportunity of a lifetime.
Facebook has mushroomed into a giant since Mark Zuckerberg was the same age as Sheryl Sandberg when he recruited her to work there, and now Mr. Zuckerberg is the same age as she was. Mr. Zuckerberg has started moving the social networking site in a new direction over the course of the last year. He is moving in the direction of the immersive online world of the so-called metaverse, and he has renamed the firm Meta. And Sheryl Sandberg, who is 52 years old, has been gradually stepping back from the public eye as Mark Zuckerberg has assumed an increasing amount of Ms. Sandberg’s duties and restructured the firm in preparation for its next chapter.
According to two of Ms. Sandberg’s workers, she made the choice to depart Meta on her own, and she notified Mr. Zuckerberg of her decision in a phone conversation she had with him over the weekend. One of the sources said that Ms. Sandberg wanted Mr. Zuckerberg, who was in Hawaii at the time, to be the first to hear about the news.
Ms. Sandberg is leaving her position at Meta much below the level of renown she attained over the course of the previous decade. She earned her degree from Harvard and worked as the chief of staff to Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers during the Clinton administration. She made her name in Silicon Valley by contributing to the growth of Google’s then-nascent targeted advertising business into a multibillion-dollar behemoth.
As a result of her work when she joined Facebook to expand its advertising business, she gained the reputation of being the responsible adult in the room. Before Ms. Sandberg was successful in developing Facebook’s mobile advertising strategy, she was instrumental in the development of several of Facebook’s advertising formats for desktop computers.
The release of Ms. Sandberg’s feminist business book, “Lean In,” in 2013, which is a manifesto for working women based on her experience in government and business, contributed to the growth of her profile in the business world. Even if some people believe Ms. Sandberg’s counsel stems from a privileged upbringing, the book became a big seller and served as the launchpad for her personal brand.
However, after the results of the presidential election in 2016, Facebook came under heavy criticism for the ways in which it was abused to incite divisiveness and propagate false information. Ms. Sandberg, who during that election was in charge of the policy and security team at the firm, first disregarded the problems and then postponed giving a public reaction.
Mr. Zuckerberg said that his business was going to make a fresh bet and was going to go all in on the metaverse, which he referred to as “the successor to the mobile internet.” This statement was made one year ago. While other executives were mentioned more extensively, Ms. Sandberg was simply given a cameo appearance in the statement that he made.
As Mark Zuckerberg reorganised Facebook to place a greater emphasis on the metaverse, Sheryl Sandberg saw some of the tasks she previously held delegated to other executives. Ms. Sandberg had previously held the position of top spokeswoman for the corporation; however, it was recently filled by Nick Clegg, the company’s head of global affairs and a former British deputy prime minister. Mr. Clegg was given the title of president of global affairs at Meta in February after receiving a promotion.
In addition to that, she was preoccupied with her own business. Her spouse, Dave Goldberg, had passed away in 2015 due to an unforeseen illness. (Ms. Sandberg’s second book, titled “Option B,” was all about finding ways to cope with loss.) She eventually met Mr. Bernthal, and during the epidemic, he relocated his family from Southern California to her house in Silicon Valley. He brought his three children with him. According to a source who is close to Ms. Sandberg, she was focused on merging the families and making preparations for her wedding in the summer. Ms. Sandberg has two children with Mr. Goldberg.
The passage of Meta into the metaverse has not been a simple process. The corporation has invested a significant amount of money on metaverse goods, despite the fact that its advertising business has been struggling. This is largely due to the fact that recent privacy improvements made by Apple have made targeted advertising less effective. After reporting financial figures in February that indicated it was having difficulty making the transition to the metaverse, Meta’s market value dropped by more than $230 billion, marking its largest one-day wipeout.