Photo/Sandberg facebook post

Sheryl Sandberg, the former chief operating officer of Meta (formerly Facebook), announced on Wednesday that she will leave the company's board of directors after her term ends in May.

In a post on Facebook, Sandberg said she was "grateful and filled with memories" for her time at Meta. She also praised Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, saying he and the company's current leadership team "have proven the strength of our business and are well-positioned for the future."

Zuckerberg responded to Sandberg's post, saying, "Thank you for your incredible contributions to our company and community over the years. Our success is due in no small part to your guidance and partnership, and I am grateful for your unwavering commitment to me and Meta."

Sandberg said she will focus on philanthropy after leaving the board, and she will continue to serve as a Meta advisor. According to CNN, Sandberg will focus her philanthropic work through her organization Lean In, which is dedicated to helping women achieve their goals in the workplace and in corporate culture. Sandberg also published a book of the same name, "Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead," in 2013, which became a major bestseller.

Sandberg served as Meta's chief operating officer for more than 14 years and served on the board for 12 years. She officially stepped down from her role as chief operating officer in the fall of 2022. Before joining Meta in 2008, Sandberg was already a well-known figure in the Silicon Valley tech world. She previously served as vice president of global online sales and operations at Google. Before joining Google, she also served as chief of staff to Treasury Secretary Larry Summers during the Clinton administration, as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, and as an economist at the World Bank.

During her time at Meta, Sandberg was a major force behind the company's shift to a digital advertising-driven business model. According to Axios, Meta's revenue grew to nearly $118 billion in 2021, up from $272 million in 2008, a 43,000% increase. In 2021, Sandberg oversaw the company's massive rebranding from Facebook to Meta, which reflected the company's ambition to build an immersive digital world centered around the metaverse.

Under her leadership, Meta became one of the most influential companies in the world, but she also faced a great deal of criticism and scrutiny. The main points of contention were that she did not "lean in" as she wrote in her book "Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead" in many major events she encountered in the latter half of her career, but adopted a "turtle" attitude, and was even exposed to have participated in some activities that were not conducive to women in the workplace.

According to The New York Times, internal documents released publicly show that Sandberg was aware that Meta was involved in the Cambridge Analytica data scandal and the "Russian interference" incident during the 2016 US presidential election, but did not intervene. According to The Wall Street Journal, in a meeting, Zuckerberg was very angry about the Cambridge Analytica incident and accused Sandberg of being "directly responsible" for the consequences of the incident.

In addition, after top billionaire George Soros publicly criticized Meta and shorted its stock, Sandberg directly asked Meta's public relations department to conduct opposition research on Soros (opposition research is a common smear and attack campaign in the political arena).

According to Forbes, Sandberg has a net worth of $19 billion and is ranked 17th on Forbes' list of self-made female billionaires.

Editor: Alexander