Cover Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook speaks onstage during 'Putting a Best Facebook Forward'. (Photo: Getty Images)

Sandberg joined the social media company in 2008 after many conversations with Mark Zuckerberg and has since brought the company to incredible heights

In a surprise move, Meta Platforms chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg announced on June 1 that she will be leaving the company after 14 years. 

In a Facebook post, Sandberg, who was instrumental in growing the social media platform to the level it is at now, said that it was time for her to move on. 

“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,” she wrote.

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Chief growth officer Javier Olivan will be taking over from Sandberg, according to chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg in a separate Facebook post. He added that he has no plans to replace Sandberg’s role directly within the company’s existing structure.

“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,” he said.

After 14 years in the company, Sandberg’s departure will certainly be felt in the company. However, considering how influential she is, it’s clear that this will probably not be the last that we hear of Sandberg.

Keep reading for more about the trailblazer.

1. Sandberg graduated from Harvard University

One of the top companies in the world certainly deserves to be led by the top minds and that is exactly what Sandberg is. She graduated from Harvard University in 1991 with a bachelor's in Economics.

She later went on to Harvard Business School where she graduated in 1995 with a Master of Business Administration.

2. She used to work at Google

While she was in school, Sandberg worked at the United States Department of the Treasury where she served as Chief of Staff under President Bill Clinton. She led the treasury’s work on forgiving debt in the developing world.

Upon graduating, Sandberg got a job at Google as its Vice President of Global Online Sales and Operations. There, she managed the online sales channels for advertising and publishing and operations for consumer products worldwide. 

Sandberg was also key in launching Google.org which is Google’s philanthropic arm.

3. She joined Facebook in 2008

In 2008, Sandberg joined the Facebook team as its Chief Operating Officer. She joined the company after meeting Zuckerburg at a holiday party and speaking with him extensively about his vision for Facebook. 

Since joining the company, Sandberg has taken care of the company’s business operations including sales, marketing, business development, human resources, public policy and communications. 

4. She is passionate about philanthropy

One look at her Instagram page and anyone would know that Sandberg is passionate about using her influence for good. In fact, in her departure post, she mentioned that she would be focusing more on her foundation and philanthropic work post-Meta.

Here, she was referencing the Sheryl Sandberg and Dave Goldberg Family Foundation which is a private operating foundation that runs two initiatives, Lean In and Option B.

Option B was started after the unexpected death of Sandberg’s husband, Dave Goldberg in 2015, and seeks to help people who’ve experienced loss as well as survivors of sexual assault and abuse. 

Lean In aims to help advance women in the workplace and works closely with women to support them in their careers.

5. She is a billionaire

As a highly intelligent and influential woman who is making significant changes around the world, it is obvious that Sandberg holds many important roles. 

For one, she serves on the boards of The Walt Disney Company, Starbucks, Women for Women International and the Center for Global Development.

The billionaire, who is worth US$1.6 billion, was also ranked 36 in the Forbes list of the world’s most powerful women in 2021. She ranks 15 on Forbes America’s Self-Made Women 2021 list as well. 

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