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Sheryl Sandberg Resigns from Meta’s Board of Directors

The former executive’s intended exit will sever her last connection to the social media behemoth that she helped establish.

After 12 years, Sheryl Sandberg, the former chief operating officer of Meta, announced her resignation from the board of directors of Facebook, the parent company of Instagram, in May. In a Facebook article announcing the move, Sandberg stated: “I stayed on the board to help ensure a successful transition after I left my role as COO.” This feels like the proper time to move aside because the Meta business is “strong and well-positioned for the future,” she continued.

Sandberg declared that she would continue to serve as an adviser even if she will not run for reelection to the Meta board in May. The CEO of Meta, which was originally formed as Facebook in 2004, Mark Zuckerberg, congratulated Sandberg for “the extraordinary contributions you have made to our company and community over the years” in a remark on the Facebook page. After 14 years with the company, Sandberg abruptly left as chief operating officer of Meta in June 2022, costing Zuckerberg one of his closest lieutenants.

As one of Facebook’s founding executives, Sandberg, 54, saw the company expand from a non-profit start-up into a massive player in digital advertising. After penning the feminist manifesto Lean In, she rose to prominence in Silicon Valley and established herself as a champion for women in the workforce. However, she was a divisive figure because of her part in creating Facebook’s advertising empire and because of a number of scandals during her time there, including remarks she made downplaying the idea that it had anything to do with the circumstances leading up to a Donald Trump rally storming the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Her resignation coincided with a challenging period for the corporation, following a string of scandals including the Cambridge Analytica data privacy debacle and Russian disinformation efforts during the US election of 2016. Together with the decline in growth, rising competition also contributed to the share price collapse. Less than a year prior, Zuckerberg had renamed the business Meta in an attempt to concentrate on the “metaverse,” a multibillion dollar gamble that has subsequently drawn harsh criticism.

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