Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. Photo by Bloomberg
The Briefing
Startups Facebook

Sheryl Sandberg’s Long Goodbye; Back to the Office, or Else

Photo: Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. Photo by Bloomberg

Publicly traded companies typically disclose big personnel announcements outside of normal trading hours, with the hope that investors will think twice before they trade. But not Meta Platforms. It rolled out a series of coordinated announcements on its top executives’ Facebook pages, alongside an interview with Bloomberg, about 30 minutes before the close of trading to announce that longtime COO Sheryl Sandberg was stepping down from that post. 

Why bother waiting? Despite Sandberg’s 14-year tenure, mostly as Facebook’s second-most powerful executive after co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, her departure had seemed increasingly inevitable over the last few years. She was too closely bound to Facebook’s unsavory dealings, such as its delayed disclosures that Russian operatives had used Facebook to manipulate the 2016 U.S. presidential election, as well as Facebook’s efforts to contain the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica data-breach scandal. She seemed sidelined as Zuckerberg shifted management of his favored projects, such as virtual reality, to top lieutenants like Andrew Bosworth. Then last year, the company’s crown jewel, its automated ad system, buckled as Apple’s privacy changes made its ad targeting less effective. 

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
The Briefing Enterprise Amazon
Roe Ruling’s Repercussions for Tech; Zendesk’s Fit of Pique
Protesters at the Supreme Court today. Photo by AP
What a week! Tech business news has been relatively scarce in recent days—but today’s Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade will have repercussions for all businesses. For the tech industry, which has been spreading outside the San Francisco Bay Area and New York for the past couple of years as remote work has become widely available, the ruling makes operating in states with abortion...
Latest Briefs
Congressional Report Says Robinhood Understated Liquidity Problems During Meme Stock Craze
Zendesk Agrees to $10.2 billion Buyout Months After Rejecting Higher Bid
Meta Plans To Shut Down CrowdTangle Tool
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Jerry Seinfeld (left) and Ted Sarandos. Photo by Getty. Art by Mike Sullivan
Exclusive Media/Telecom Amazon
A Netflix Slump Tests Sarandos’ Talent Savvy
In 2019, when comedian Mike Myers was pitching a new comedy series to Netflix, program executives at the company were skeptical.
Art by Mike Sullivan.
The 1:1 Amazon Cloud
‘I choose to be intentionally paranoid’: Adam Selipsky Navigates AWS Into a Cloudy Future
Of the five big tech companies that dominate their respective corners of the industry, Amazon is the only one whose headquarters sprout from the soil of a bustling metropolis.
Amazon's logo on a tent at Cannes this week. Photo by Reuters.
Amazon’s Ad Staffers Flee Amid Complaints of Bloat, Bureaucracy
In the years immediately before Covid-19 sidelined the global advertising festival in Cannes, Amazon kept a low-key presence at the annual gathering of ad and tech people.
Crypto Markets
Tech’s Worst-Timed Deals: Six Acquisitions That Have Not Improved With Age
As tech valuations collapse to a fraction of where they were last year, executives likely have a few regrets.
Social Studies Startups
So Your Startup Died. What Do You Do With All That Swag?
Megan Auringer started as a project manager at construction startup Katerra in January 2018, the same month it announced an $865 million fundraising round led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund, the world’s largest private tech investor.
Signage at VidCon 2016. Photo by Shutterstock
VidCon Returns as Chill Falls on Creator Economy
VidCon, the annual gathering of social media creators, fans and industry representatives, will descend on Anaheim, Calif., Wednesday for the first time since 2019.