What happened now? While parent company Facebook Meta continues to advance its vision for the metaverse, it will do so without one of its most experienced and influential employees. Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg announced Wednesday that she is leaving the company after more than 14 years on the job.

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In a Facebook post released today, Sandberg briefly broke the news and spoke briefly about her time at the company, describing some of the ups and downs of her 14-year career. In it, she talks about her first meeting with Mark Zuckerberg at a party in 2007, where she discovered and fell in love with the idea of ​​Facebook. However, she did not join the company until 2008, after “countless” conversations with Zuckerberg about her potential role.

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Her job was to turn Facebook from a fun website for friends and family to connect with, to one that could actually make a profit. She, along with the rest of Facebook’s executives, decided to use ads to make this happen and had great success. To this day, targeted advertising and the massive, controversial data-gathering efforts required to make it effective remain the two main pillars of Meta’s business model (at Sandberg’s behest).

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While the company has offered users greater control over their data in recent years after high-profile scandals such as the Cambridge Analytica debacle, the shadow of its past data privacy missteps continues to trail Meta and its senior executives, including Sandberg.

Regardless, Sandberg’s legacy extends beyond Facebook. She is also a well-known author who has written books such as the feminist books Lean In and Ban Bossy, which have sold millions of copies in their quest to encourage women and young girls to take leadership positions.

Sandberg will leave Meta this fall but intends to remain on the company’s board of directors, which she first joined in 2012. Goldberg Family Foundation, which aims to support and inspire women in their professional careers.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg commented on the news in a Facebook post, calling Sandberg a “good friend” who taught him how to run the company. He notes that while he is sad to see her go, he is grateful for “everything she has done to build the Meta”. Zuckerberg does not plan to replace Sandberg in the company’s structure anytime soon, but this may change in the future.