One of the most powerful women in tech who taught ‘how to run a company,’ stepped down from — then — on Tuesday after 14 years, but her boss was seemingly absent from the applauding crowd.
Sheryl Sandberg, 53, yesterday stepped down as Chief Operating Officer of Meta, Facebook’s parent company, for a new philanthropy venture, as well as parenting her now five children with her new husband.
She was seen hugging Meta staff in a tearful goodbye during her leaving drinks, but Zuclerberg — who has been hit with two life events after recently announcing he is expecting a third child within days of his net worth plummeting by $71billion — did not appear in the photo.
Zuckerberg, posting on Facebook in June after the announcement of her resignation, called Sandberg’s departure as the ‘end of an era’ and said he would always be ‘grateful to have you as a lifelong friend’.
‘In the 14 years we’ve worked together, you’ve architected our ads business, hired great people, forged our management culture, and taught me how to run a company,’ he said.
Sandberg’s colleagues showered her with praise, but others associate her with many of the controversies that plagued Facebook during the 2010s — when the company was mired in legal battles over the Cambridge Analytica scandal and challenged on its data collection policies.
The news of her departure came after the former COO married Tom Bernthal in August in a Wyoming wedding.
Sheryl Sandberg is given tearful goodbye by Meta staff as she leaves the office on her last day on the job — but mark Zuckerberg was seemingly absent from the applauding crowd
CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg walks with COO of Facebook Sheryl Sandberg after a session at the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference on July 08, 2021 in Sun Valley, Idaho
Sandberg, 53, stepped down as Chief Operating Officer of Meta, Facebook’s parent company yesterday for a new philanthropy venture, as well as parenting her now five children
Sandberg’s colleagues showered her with praise, with Zuckerberg telling her he would always be ‘grateful to have you as a lifelong friend’
In a parting post on Facebook, Sandberg recalled the first time she met Zuckerberg.
The two were at a Christmas party in 2007 at the house of Daniel L Rosensweig, CEO of Chegg and previous CEO of Guitar Hero, but said she never had a single drink.
Instead, she was talking to Zuckerberg all night about his vision for Facebook and circles how real people would connect with others online. He was just 23 and she 38 when they met.
‘I had tried The Facebook, as it was first called, but still thought the internet was a largely anonymous place to search for funny pictures,’ she said, adding: ‘I could have never predicted how meeting him would change my life.’
Her job at Facebook was chaotic at first, she said. On her first summer at the company, Zuckerberg went traveling and was not contactable for long stretches of time, leaving the company in Sandberg’s hands.
But the two enjoyed a close confidential relationship, she said, where they trusted and relied on one another to figure out the best path for the company.
‘In the critical moments of my life, in the highest highs and in the depths of true lows, I have never had to turn to Mark, because he was already there,’ she said, in a tribute to the founder.
But the two drifted further apart when it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm, had used data harvested from Facebook users to target voters.
Sheryl Sandberg tied the knot with businessman Tom Bernthal in cowboy-themed Wyoming wedding with groom’s film star brother serving as best man in August
Sandberg said she was going to be focusing on a new philanthropic venture, but did not give any further details,as well as focusing on the upbringing of her five children
Sanderberg was in charge of managing Facebook’s public image, with their relationship becoming more strained as the company’s reputation became increasingly tarnished.
In press conferences and interviews with the New York Times, Sandberg noted that the company had taken down many pages supporting the Proud Boys, a far-right militia, and ‘Stop the Steal’ groups supporting former President Donald J. Trump claim that he was the legitimate winner of the 2020 election.
But enforcement was not perfect, she added, and some content had slipped through the cracks.
The relationship between Zuckerberg and Sandberg never survived Trump, the claimed in 2019.
After leaving Meta on August 1, her spokesperson announced that Sandberg will stay on at the company as a board member — keeping close to the company and boss with which she spent the last 14 years.