Sheryl Sandberg is the adult in the Zuckerberg production room at Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Facebook Inc., right, Sheryl Sandberg, chief executive officer of Facebook, left, applaud after ringing the doorbell to open remote trading at Nasdaq MarketSite from the Facebook campus in Menlo Park , California

Zef Nikola | Facebook | Bloomberg

When Facebook organized the Nasdaq launch 10 years ago, Prospectus named six executives.

Only one left: Mark Zuckerberg.

Sheryl Sandberg announce her passing from the company, now called Meta, on Wednesday, leaving behind a complicated 14-year legacy at the social media giant, the work of which has made her a billionaire and one of the most powerful women in the world. business world.

In 2012, she was considered a key figure in Facebook’s reputation among customers and investors, so much so that the company’s IPO filing named her one of two key figures.

“We are currently reliant on the ongoing services and performance of our key people, including Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl K. Sandberg,” Facebook wrote in the risk factors section of the prospectus. .

Language stuck and repeated throughout the company’s latest process annual filing. But it is becoming increasingly divorced from reality.

Sandberg’s stardom has waned in the last few years, as unflattering reports surfaced about her mishandling of the Russian disinformation story following the 2016 presidential election, according to a report. in 2018 on the Wall Street Journal, Zuckerberg blame Sandberg In the aftermath of the scandal surrounding Cambridge Analytica, the data analytics company improperly used Facebook profiles for political research.

A champion of women in tech, Sandberg also began to fail last year after former employee Frances Haugen internal document disclosure showed the company knew its products could harm teenage girls’ mental health – and refused to make the changes.

Investor Whitney Tilson published a letter he wrote to Sandberg in October, after Haugen appeared on “60 minutes.”

“Horrible doesn’t even begin to express my feelings,” Tilson wrote. “If you and Mark think you can run an old playbook that has worked in the past – sorry and take a few steps, but doesn’t really change anything – and this will just happen, you’re wrong. big.”

Sandberg, 52, continues to appear on earnings calls to talk about the advertising business and issues like regulation. There, she also finds herself in a difficult position. A far cry from the days when it was a growth engine in Silicon Valley, Facebook recently report First quarter growth is less than 10% and indicates second quarter revenue can refuse from a year earlier.

Debra Aho Williamson, an analyst with research firm Insider Intelligence, wrote in an emailed statement: “The company needs to find a new direction and perhaps this is the best time for Sandberg to depart.

Zuckerberg tried to change the conversation, focusing on the metaverse and a future of relying on virtual, play and work. In his new world, Sandberg is an outsider.

In the 77-minute October presentation that Zuckerberg used to announce change name and to show what Meta was trying to build, the company’s No. 2 spot was nowhere to be found.

However, Zuckerberg praised Sandberg on Wednesday, declare it is “the end of an era.” While Javier OlivanMeta’s chief growth officer, which will assume the title of CEO later this year, Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post that he has no plans to replace Sheryl’s role and, “I’m not sure what that means.” that would be possible because she’s a superstar who defined the COO role in her own way.”

‘Move fast and break things’

Fourteen years older than Zuckerberg, Sandberg has given Facebook a massive resume from her years at Google and her work in Washington as part of President Bill Clinton Treasury Department. In contrast, Zuckerberg was a college dropout and never had a real job.

Sandberg has had an undeniable impact in building Facebook’s ad business and its internal operations, including marketing and human resources. But a company’s vision is always created by one person and one person only. For Zuckerberg, realizing that vision is the task of engineers.

“We have a saying: ‘Move fast and break things,'” Zuckerberg wrote in his famous letter to potential shareholders in the IPO filing. “The idea is that if you never break anything, you’re probably not moving fast enough.”

For Zuckerberg, moving fast means being Facebook’s sole head of business development for some of Facebook’s most important decisions. He offered to buy Instagram right before the IPO no input from the boardand he reported orchestrated a $19 billion purchase of WhatsApp after seeing data showing the messaging app was an existential threat to his business.

Sandberg joined Facebook’s board in 2008 and said Wednesday that she would continue to serve as director. But Zuckerberg has perpetual control over the voting rights of the company’s stock, thanks to his super-voting shares. That means he can choose board members who will follow his vision.

That’s why Zuckerberg has to decide when he wants to change the company’s name to Meta and spend $10 billion this year building a supermarket that may or may not turn into a real business by the end of the decade.

Sandberg told CNBC she plans to focus on philanthropy, specifically helping women, adding that she’s “very optimistic about the future of the company.”

However, investors have failed, with shares losing half of their value since peaking in September. It fell another 2.6% in extended trading after Sandberg announced his departure.

Whatever happens now, Zuckerberg has no one to blame but himself.

– Julia Boorstin of CNBC contributed to this report.

CLOCK: Sandberg said the decision to leave to focus on philanthropy

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