Meta’s mixed legacy of Sheryl Sandberg


After Sheryl Sandberg joined Facebook in 2008, critics quickly pointed out that she was not
providing sufficient “adult supervision” when the company faced its first privacy scandal.

Many have criticized Sandberg over the years. He was long considered the No. For the many
errors made by Facebook, Meta (now known as 2P) has been criticized. These include
everything from allowing Russian bots spread propaganda before the 2016 US Presidential
Election to its involvement in the January 6 Insurrection. She also made the company grow from
an experiment in a dorm to one of the most important tech companies on the planet.

After a 14-year tenure, Sandberg announced that she would be leaving her position as Meta’s
COO. She will continue to hold her seat on the company’s board.

It has been a long process for Sandberg to leave. She had a declining influence on the
company, and at times she was forced to apologize publicly for the problems that Mark
Zuckerberg was ultimately responsible for. It’s possible to wonder why she didn’t quit earlier,
especially since Meta recently promoted Nick Clegg, a former UK politician, to the president of
global affairs. This meant that he assumed the policy duties previously held by Sandberg.

Sandberg said that she made the decision “not lightly” but it has been 14 years. She also joked
about how her job was “not the most manageable.”

Sandberg was arguably the most difficult person in tech, as he managed Facebook’s entire
operations, including its ads business, partnerships with other companies, content moderation,
recruitment, and public relations. Her long list of duties allowed Zuckerberg to concentrate on
the things he loved most: building products.

Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post Wednesday about Sandberg’s departure, “Sheryl
designed our ads business, hired top people, created our management culture, and taught me
how I run a company.” “Sheryl deserves the credit for so many of what Meta today is.”

Sandberg will be leaving Meta with a mixed history. On one hand, her efforts helped make
Facebook one of the most profitable companies worldwide. She also used her experience as an
ex-Google ad executive in helping Facebook figure out how to make more money. Sandberg
used Google’s model to organize the sales team into teams that were focused on attracting
medium-sized, large, and small-sized advertisers. (When she joined, Facebook’s sole ad
partner was Microsoft). After one year, Facebook was a profitable company. She also continued
to create Facebook ads targeting users based on their social activity.

Sandberg, one of few female tech executives at the top in the industry, was a role model for
many women within and outside the company. In 2013, Sandberg published Lean In, which
encouraged women to be advocates for themselves at work as well as in their personal lives.
This book sparked a social movement that saw tens to thousands of women form “Lean In”
groups to implement the ideas in Sandberg’s book. Sandberg’s corporate feminism was well
received by some critics. They felt it placed too much pressure upon individual women to make
their careers better but did not give enough attention to the structural issues that are causing
sexism. Sandberg’s book received a positive reception. It was a New York Times bestseller and
sold more than 4 million copies.

However, Facebook became a more political platform over the years and Sandberg began to be
criticized for her management of the company’s policies. In 2016, there was the Russia
misinformation scandal. This was a problem Zuckerberg had assigned to Sandberg. Then came
the Cambridge Analytica scandal. According to reports, Zuckerberg blamed Sandberg and her
staff for the fallout and called the media reaction “hysteria”. Clegg was hired around that time.
Sandberg also apologized publicly for Facebook’s role as a platform that enabled genocide in
Myanmar and promoted political extremism within the US.

Sandberg used aggressive lobbying techniques to respond to negative media coverage about
Facebook. In 2017, Facebook hired Republican opposition research company Definers to
investigate its critics. This included left-leaning billionaire George Soros and the civil rights
organization Color of Change. She later apologized to the group.

Sandberg took a sabbatical in spring. During that time, she was again at the center of
controversy after she was accused of using her influence over the Daily Mail to get them to stop
reporting on Bobby Kotick, according to the Wall Street Journal. Recode was told by a
spokesperson for Meta that Sandberg’s departure was not due to the Journal article. Meta has
since closed the investigation.

Industry insiders might not be surprised to learn that Sandberg is leaving Meta after all the
scandals she has been involved in while being second in command of Facebook. It has been
apparent for several years that her influence was decreasing within the company, especially with
Zuckerberg who was known for being very close to her. (Both Sandberg and Zuckerberg insist
that they are very close and Meta has denied any rifts in their relationship.

“Early on Sheryl was the only COO in the world that would say, “We’re sending Mark instead of
Mark,” Katie Harbath, who worked with Sandberg as a former director for public policy at Meta,
said. It was almost like having co-CEOs.

According to reports, Sandberg began to have a more direct role in policy decisions as a result
of the Trump administration’s cracks in his relationship with Zuckerberg. For example, he
decided that Facebook should be more hands-off in moderating political speech. This decision
angered some of Sandberg’s Democratic Party allies. According to the New York Times,
Zuckerberg decided not to remove a manipulated video of Nancy Pelosi as it appeared she was
slurring her words.

Harbath stated that Mark and Sheryl’s views on how to handle various issues diverged more.

Some industry insiders are worried that Sandberg’s departure will mean that there won’t be
anyone left to challenge Zuckerberg on important decisions.

One former Facebook executive spoke under anonymity to say that Sheryl has been through
quite a ride over the past 14 years. “Sheryl has experienced some really high highs and some
truly incredible lows.” “It’s fascinating to see who Mark has surrounded him with at this point. His
core leaders, all Mark loyalists, have been there forever.

Javier Olivan (Facebook’s former chief growth officer) is one of the leaders remaining in
Zuckerberg’s inner circle. He will take over Sandberg’s position as Meta’s COO after she leaves
this fall. Andrew “Boz”, Meta’s vice-president of augmented/virtual reality, and Chris Cox are
also in the group. Clegg is still Meta’s president for global affairs.

Notably, a smaller percentage of Zuckerberg’s top lieutenants is made up of women when
Sandberg is gone. Zuckerberg has two female direct reports: Jennifer Newstead, the company’s
chief legal officer, and Lori Goler (Meta’s head for people).

Sandberg’s departure means that there are very few women in high-ranking tech executive
positions. There are some exceptions, like YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki and Oracle CEO
Safra Katz.

Her tenure at Meta and Facebook marks the end of one of the most notable tech industry
trajectories. Sandberg was once a highly respected corporate leader who broke down gender
barriers in the tech sector. was being considered for a position in Hilary Clinton’s presidential
cabinet. It’s difficult to imagine Sandberg pursuing a career as a politician due to her complex
legacy and Meta’s controversial reputation. Sandberg could pursue a bigger business role but
she is focusing her attention on her family and philanthropic endeavors.