On Wednesday, Sheryl Sandberg, Meta’s second-most potent CEO, announced her departure, ending a 14-year stint that involved steering scandal-prone Facebook to advertising domination.

Sandberg, 52, has been one of Silicon Valley’s most powerful women. Her exit comes as the social media behemoth confronts an unclear future and tough competition. Her departure from Facebook parent Meta will take effect in the autumn, she said on the platform, adding that she intends to stay on the company’s board.

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Sandberg, a Harvard-educated executive, joined Facebook in 2008, when it was still a startup, and played a pivotal role in its growth into a multibillion-dollar advertising empire. “It’s time for me to write the next chapter of my life,” Sandberg remarked. “I’m not sure what the future holds; I’ve learned that no one ever is.”

It has elicited praise from fans for expressing a fresh modern feminist perspective, and stinging criticism from opponents who claim her exalted position has rendered her unconcerned about the arduous personal cost of balancing job and family. As a result, the social network has redesigned itself in a move toward the assumption that the internet is on its way to becoming an immersive virtual environment.

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The Silicon Valley behemoth’s reputation has been damaged by allegations that it prioritized business before user privacy and even societal good. Meanwhile, TikTok, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, and even Apple compete for people’s online attention with Meta, as the Facebook platform is increasingly perceived as a destination for elderly people.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated that Sandberg’s job at the firm will be reshaped, with Javier Olivan taking over as Meta’s chief operational officer. According to Zuckerberg, the new COO will be more convenient than Sandberg’s tight second-in-command role. “She has taught me so much and has been present for so many crucial times in my life, both emotionally and professionally,” Zuckerberg added.

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Sandberg provided a steadying hand among the computer whiz youngsters due to her past working with former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and Google’s charity arm. Sandberg was saddened in 2015 when her husband, US tech executive David Goldberg, died unexpectedly at an exclusive resort in Mexico. In addition, she announced her engagement to marketing professional Tom Bernthal two years ago.

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