Bulletins

Sheryl Sandberg will leave Meta after 14 years this fall

Sandberg wrote in a Facebook post that "it is time for me to write the next chapter of my life."

Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg attends a meeting with the French President during the "Choose France" summit at the Chateau de Versailles, near Paris, on January 22, 2018. President Emmanuel Macron's campaign for a "French Renaissance" kicked into overdrive on January 22 as his government welcomed 140 multinational business leaders before this week's jamboree of the rich and powerful in Davos. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Thibault Camus (Photo credit should read THIBAULT CAMUS/AFP via Getty Images)
Sheryl Sandberg will depart Meta this fall, after a transition period.
Photo: Thibault Camus/AFP via Getty Images

Sheryl Sandberg announced Wednesday she is stepping down as chief operating officer of Meta after 14 years. Sandberg announced her departure in a Facebook post, saying that she will spend the next few months transitioning before leaving the company in the fall.

"When I took this job in 2008, I hoped I would be in this role for five years. Fourteen years later, it is time for me to write the next chapter of my life," Sandberg wrote. "I am not entirely sure what the future will bring – I have learned no one ever is."


Sandberg joined Facebook from Google, tasked with transforming Mark Zuckerberg's wildly successful dorm room experiment into a going business. Sandberg led Facebook's efforts to develop an advertising business, and quickly became one of the most well-known female tech executives in the US. But in recent years, Sandberg's once sterling reputation has become tarnished, particularly in the wake of the Internet Research Agency scandal following the 2016 election.

More recently, The Wall Street Journal reported that Sandberg personally intervened in negative reporting about her ex-boyfriend Bobby Kotick. The Journal reported that Sandberg was facing an internal investigation over the matter.

Sandberg's post did not lend much clarity into why she decided now is the time to leave, instead, focusing primarily on her history at the company and her fondness for Zuckerberg, who she first met during a chance encounter at a holiday party.

"Mark is a true visionary and a caring leader. He sometimes says that we grew up together, and we have," Sandberg wrote. "He was just 23 and I was already 38 when we met, but together we have been through the massive ups and downs of running this company, as well as his marriage to the magnificent Priscilla, the sorrow of their miscarriages and the joy of their childbirths, the sudden loss of Dave, my engagement to [Tom Bernthal], and so much more."

In his own statement on Facebook, Zuckerberg wrote, "I'm sad that the day is coming when I won't get to work as closely with Sheryl. But more than anything, I'm grateful for everything she has done to build Meta."

Sandberg said she now plans to spend more time on philanthropy and family.

In recent years, there have been ample signs that she was taking a less prominent public role at the company. Recently, Nick Clegg was promoted to president of public affairs, a role that made him Meta's point person in conversations with world leaders and global governments.

Shortly after the news broke, former Meta employees began sounding off on Twitter. "I have no real thoughts on Sheryl as a person/leader but this will be an incredibly non-shocking departure to basically everyone inside the company," wrote former spokesperson Drew Pusateri.

Sandberg will continue to serve on Meta's board, but Zuckerberg said he will not be replacing her with anyone who does precisely what she does. "I'm not sure that would be possible since she's a superstar who defined the COO role in her own unique way," Zuckerberg wrote. "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."

Instead, Javier Olivan will become chief operating officer, but with a different set of responsibilities, which Zuckerberg described as more akin to a traditional COO role, focused on making the company "more efficient and rigorous."

Latest Bulletins

Mobile game revenue will decline for the first time in history this year, market research firm Newzoo now says in a revised outlook for the 2022 global games market. While the whole game industry is expected to contract by 4.3% — another first since Newzoo began tracking the market in 2007 — the company is predicting a 6.4% decline in mobile game spending on top of a 4.2% decline in console game spending.

Keep Reading Show less

Amazon is planning to lay off thousands of employees, Protocol has learned, ahead of what the company has cautioned will be a slow holiday shopping season.

Keep Reading Show less

Google agreed to pay $391.5 million and make changes to its user privacy controls as part of a settlement with a coalition of 40 state attorneys general. The coalition accused Google of misleading customers about location-tracking practices that informed ad targeting.

Keep Reading Show less

FTX has filed for bankruptcy and the crypto company also announced that founder Sam Bankman-Fried has resigned as CEO.

Keep Reading Show less

Salesforce recently updated its internal policies to make it easier for managers to terminate employees for performance issues without HR involvement, Protocol has learned, a move that comes as the software giant looks to shed as many as 2,500 jobs.

Keep Reading Show less

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said fraud and scam reports comprise the top complaint it receives about virtual currencies — and that customers are finding little help from companies when it happens.

Keep Reading Show less

Elon Musk sent his first email to Twitter staff late Wednesday, warning of a difficult economic road ahead and telling employees they need to be in office for a minimum of 40 hours per week. "Sorry that this is my first email to the whole company, but there is no way to sugarcoat the message," he began, ominously.

Keep Reading Show less

Binance isn’t buying FTX after all. The crypto giant said Wednesday it has decided that it “will not pursue the potential acquisition” based on a “corporate due diligence” review.

Keep Reading Show less

On Wednesday, John Kerry unveiled a plan for a new carbon credit program aimed at mobilizing private capital to help middle-income countries transition away from coal and move toward renewable energy.

Keep Reading Show less

Meta announced it was laying off more than 11,000 employees Wednesday morning, slashing jobs in its recruiting department and refocusing its remaining team on AI discovery, ads, and its investment in the metaverse.

"I want to take accountability for these decisions and for how we got here," Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a message to employees that was also posted online. "I know this is tough for everyone, and I’m especially sorry to those impacted."

Keep Reading Show less

Al Gore has one mission this week at COP27, and that’s to give climate negotiators what he hopes will be a critical tool to address the crisis at hand: an independent, global inventory of greenhouse gas emissions, down to the individual facility.

The Climate TRACE coalition just released the world’s most detailed inventory of global greenhouse gas emissions, which Gore, a founding member, is unveiling on Wednesday at the United Nations climate summit in Egypt.

Keep Reading Show less

Way back in March, your friendly Protocol Climate team offered you some tips for writing a climate plan that doesn’t suck. Surely you took that advice. But if for some reason you didn’t, the United Nations has your back.

Keep Reading Show less

Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao said Tuesday the crypto powerhouse signed a deal to acquire rival FTX.

Keep Reading Show less

Salesforce is preparing for a major round of layoffs that could affect as many as 2,500 workers across the software vendor, Protocol has learned, in a bid to cut costs amid a new activist investor challenge and harsh economic conditions.

Keep Reading Show less

BlockFi has introduced a new digital assets interest product for accredited investors, after previously agreeing to shut down a yield-paying crypto product that the SEC said was illegal.

Keep Reading Show less

The Justice Department said Monday it seized $3.4 billion worth of bitcoin stolen in the 2012 hack of the Silk Road dark web marketplace.

Keep Reading Show less

U.S. election infrastructure is exceedingly secure, and voter fraud here is so rare it’s comparable to your annual chances of getting struck by lightning. Despite this, former President Donald Trump and a long list of allies in the Republican Party have spent the last two years questioning the overall integrity of the U.S. election system. Many of those allies are now candidates themselves, and their coordinated attack on the country’s status as a democracy is not a relic of 2020. Some have already started repeating these “Big Lie” charges ahead of next week’s midterms. And the social platforms that help them spread their message have prepared few measures to stop it.

Keep Reading Show less

The White House just laid out its climate tech priorities to reach net zero by 2050.

Keep Reading Show less

Coinbase said Thursday that it lost more users in the third quarter. But the decline wasn’t the disastrous drop that Wall Street was expecting, and that sparked a rally in the crypto company’s shares after-hours.

Keep Reading Show less

The Biden administration announced $9 billion in funding Wednesday to improve home efficiency, which could help support the installation of up to 500,000 heat pumps. With winter approaching and utilities warning of gas shortages, there are some major challenges facing the technology that money can be used to tackle.

Keep Reading Show less

Block beat earnings expectations, with strong growth largely fueled by its Cash App business. Traders sent shares up more than 12% after-hours Thursday.

Keep Reading Show less

Stripe is laying off 14% of its staff, its co-founders said Thursday, as the fintech startup must start "building differently for leaner times."

Keep Reading Show less

Roku saw its revenue growth slow in Q3, and warned investors Wednesday that things are about to get worse: “A lot of Q4 ad campaigns are being canceled,” said Roku CEO Anthony Wood during the company’s Q4 earnings call. “We’re seeing lots of big categories pull back. Telecom, insurance … even toy marketers are planning on reducing their spending.”

Keep Reading Show less

Green jobs and corporate climate pledges abound, but skilled sustainability professionals are scarce.

Keep Reading Show less

Robinhood reported a drop in third-quarter revenue but also a narrower loss on Wednesday, in a sign that it might be stabilizing its business as it attempts to recover from a staggering drop in the stock and crypto trading activity that fueled its growth.

Keep Reading Show less
Bulletins