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    In surprising turn of Events, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg will be leaving the Company after 14 years

    Facebook's Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg
    Sheryl Sandberg announced on Wednesday that she is leaving the company after 14 years.

    One of Silicon Valley’s most prominent executives, Sheryl Sandberg, has stepped down as the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook’s parent company.

    A 52-year old Facebook executive announced her retirement in a Facebook post on Wednesday. Sandberg wrote, “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 will stay on as a board member, according to Meta. Javier Olivan will take over as chief operating officer in the fall when Sandberg leaves the position.

    She wants to focus on her charity work and developing her foundation. This summer, she has noted that she will be marrying television producer Tom Bernthal.

    Sandberg had a pivotal role in helping Facebook grow from a graduate’s project to the dominant social media platform of today, with more than 3 billion accounts worldwide.

    In the early days of Facebook’s rise, Sandberg served as a seasoned No. 2 to founder Mark Zuckerberg who was leading the company at just 23 years old. Before she arrived on Facebook’s campus, Sandberg managed teams at Google and earned a reputation there as a fast learner with both charisma and excellent leadership skills.

    “We have had our share of ups and downs running this company. At 23, he was just a year younger than me when we met, but together we learned how to manage our new business,” Sandberg said in her resignation letter.

    Sandberg managed a variety of things like hiring, firing, advertising strategy and other personnel issues at Facebook. Zuckerberg once said she “handles the stuff I don’t want to,” he told the New Yorker in 2011.

    Outside of the company, she became a public face for Facebook. She was interviewed about crises and policies that would affect the company in her capacity as head of PR.

    Sandberg will leave Facebook at a time when the social network is trying to reinvent itself as a hardware company that focuses on virtual reality. This business doesn’t rely on advertising, which was one of Sandberg’s areas of expertise.

    Sandberg had a successful tenure at Facebook as the second in command and through her books has become an influencer for gender equality. After her husband’s sudden death, she wrote “Option B”, a book about how to navigate grief.

    Sandberg has been the public face of Facebook as it has dealt with various crises over the years, including Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election and in the months following a 2018 Cambridge Analytica scandal over how the data-mining firm had inappropriately used Facebook user data for political purposes.

    She has left Facebook two months after a scandal in which she reportedly urged a British tabloid to stop reporting on her former boyfriend, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick.

    Kotick’s ex-girlfriend, who had filed for a temporary restraining order against him in court, was the first to come out with harassment allegations.

    Wall Street Journal reported that Sandberg’s advisors worried the story could hurt her image as an advocate for female workers, so a team including Facebook employees worked to have the story killed.

    Facebook investigated whether Sandberg acted unethically and the findings have not been made public. They would only say that their investigation has been completed.

    A spokesperson for the company said there is no connection between Sandberg’s departure and Kotick’s inappropriate behavior.

    Nkechi Nneji, the spokeswoman for Meta who was quoted in the article, said that the former employee was not pushed out or fired.

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