Sheryl Sandberg, who spent more than a decade serving as chief operating officer and a board member at Meta, plans to leave the company's board of directors in May.
New York CNN  — 

Former longtime Meta chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg will not remain on the company’s board of directors after her term ends in May, she said in a Facebook post Wednesday.

“With a heart filled with gratitude and a mind filled with memories, I let the Meta board know that I will not stand for reelection this May,” Sandberg said in the post.

Sandberg’s exit comes after she spent more than 14 years as the company’s chief operating officer, in addition to 12 years on its board. Sandberg stepped down from her COO role in the fall of 2022, marking the end of a remarkable tenure during which she helped grow one of the world’s most influential companies and also saw it through significant criticism.

Sandberg said in her post that she would be leaving the Facebook parent company’s board to focus more on philanthropic work but added that she would continue to serve as an advisor to Meta.

She added that Meta’s current leadership team under CEO Mark Zuckerberg “have proven beyond a doubt that the Meta business is strong and well-positioned for the future, so this feels like the right time to step away.”

“Thank you Sheryl for the extraordinary contributions you have made to our company and community over the years,” Zuckerberg said in a comment on her post. “Your dedication and guidance have been instrumental in driving our success and I am grateful for your unwavering commitment to me and Meta over the years.”

Sandberg’s work via her philanthropic organization, Lean In, is focused on helping women achieve their goals across the workplace and corporate culture, and her book of the same title helped propel her to celebrity when it was published in 2013.

Meta did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Sandberg’s decision to leave the board.

Sandberg’s legacy at Meta

Sandberg was already a high-profile figure in the tech industry when she joined the company, then called Facebook, in 2008, having been Google’s vice president of global online sales and operations. Prior to Google, she had held senior roles at the World Bank and the Treasury Department under President Bill Clinton.

In her early years at Facebook, she was often referred to as the ”adult supervision” for a company run by a very young founder.

In partnership with Zuckerberg, Sandberg helped grow Facebook’s revenue from roughly $150 million in 2007 to more than $3.7 billion in 2011, the year before it went public. She also gained new prominence as one of the most influential women in tech.

In 2022, the year Sandberg stepped down as COO, Meta posted total annual revenue of $116.6 billion. And the company’s share price has gained more than 860% since its 2012 IPO.

“Sheryl architected our ads business, hired great people, forged our management culture, and taught me how to run a company,” Zuckerberg said in a June 2022 Facebook post when Sandberg announced she would leave the COO role.

But Sandberg was also among the company’s top brass as the company faced growing scrutiny over a range of issues — everything from accusations of undermining democracy and abetting genocide to harming teen users.

She also helped oversee a massive rebranding in 2021 from Facebook to Meta that reflected the company’s ambitions to reorient itself around building an immersive digital world called the “metaverse.” Meta’s ambitious spending on that project sparked concerns from shareholders and was followed by major cuts at the company last year.

This story has been updated with additional developments.

Riley Gutiérrez McDermid, Brian Fung and Rishi Iyengar contributed to this report.