Inside Sheryl Sandberg's 14-year Facebook career & Mark Zuckerberg's advice that helped her through husband's death

ONE of Facebook's top executives has announced she is stepping down from parent company Meta after 14 years.

Sheryl Sandberg joined Facebook in 2008 as the number two next to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, helping transform the social media platform into a billion-dollar advertising juggernaut.

She shared the news in a Facebook post Wednesday, writing: "Today, I am sharing the news that after 14 years, I will be leaving Meta.

"Sitting by Mark’s side for these 14 years has been the honor and privilege of a lifetime. Mark is a true visionary and a caring leader. He sometimes says that we grew up together, and we have.

"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 wrote. "I am not entirely sure what the future will bring – I have learned no one ever is."

Meta announced that Sandberg would stay on the company's board while Javier Olivan, another executive, will take over as chief operating officer when Sandberg departs in the fall.

During Facebook's early days, Sandberg was known as "the adult in the room", working alongside co-founder, Mark Zuckerberg, who led the company in his early 20s.

Sandberg joined Facebook after working multiple years as an advertising manager at Google.

During her time at the company, Facebook grew from a free social network in a Harvard dorm to one of the most dominant platforms in the world, with almost three billion users.

"Sheryl always says that the amount of progress that we make is directly proportional to the number of hard conversations that we’re willing to have," said Zuckerberg on an episode of The Tim Ferriss Show podcast.

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Zuckerberg added that Sandberg pushed her colleagues with constructive criticism at a time when giving hard feedback was tough

"So trying to build that into the cultural operation system — which is, ‘we’re just going to really reward and focus on being direct with each other’ — I think is a really important thing," he said.

Sandberg also served as the public face of Facebook during its multiple controversies over the years, including the Cambridge Analytica scandal when the data-mining firm breached millions of users' personal data in 2018.

Outside of Facebook, Sandberg is also a bestselling author, writing Lean In, which pushed for equality in the workplace.


In 2015, while on vacation in Mexico, Sandberg's husband, Dave Goldberg, died suddenly after suffering a heart arrhythmia while he was working out.

In her book, Option B, which she co-authored with Adam Grant, Sandberg found ways to cope with grief and tragedy. However, her friendship with Zuckerberg was also a big part of the healing process.

While speaking to Insider in 2017, Sandberg described Zuckerberg and wife, Priscilla Chan as "remarkable" people, adding that the couple would take her out multiple times after her husband's passing.

"A lot of what Mark did as a friend was super important. A lot of work Mark did in the office," she said at the time.

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"I hope everyone can have personal friendships, but even if you don't have the depth of friendship we had, building someone back up, telling them they made a good point in a meeting, telling someone with cancer, 'I still believe in you and think you can contribute here' -anyone can do that just as a boss or just as a colleague.

"I think people have a lot to learn from the example Mark set. To be honest, I don't know how he knew this. I didn't know this. He did a bunch of stuff that I certainly never thought to do for people I worked with who were grieving. It's a pretty incredible story."

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