For more than a decade, Mark Zuckerberg And Sheryl Sandberg started and ended together every week.
The symbol of the ritual was clear. The purpose was to indicate that Mr. Zuckerberg, Chief Executive Officer of META, and Ms. Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer, were locked in a lockstep at the top of the company.
But when Ms. Sandberg, 52, said Wednesday She will give up meta. This fall, he crystallized an unspoken change in the tech giant: Mr. Zuckerberg no longer has a clear No.2.
While Mr. Zuckerberg has nominated Javier Olivan, a longtime executive, to take over his job after Ms. Sandberg’s resignation, the role of chief operating officer at Meta has diminished. Was known by Mr Zuckerberg, 38, has four executives who are just as big.
Responsibilities and through which they respond to and execute major decisions.
Mr Zuckerberg made the structural change because he wanted to tighten his grip on all parts of the company, according to three people close to him. While Mr. Zuckerberg has always been the undisputed boss, with a majority of the company’s voting shares, he shared power with Ms. Sandberg when he was a young businessman and needed help growing the company. But people said that with more than 18 years of experience under his belt, he wants to use all his strength and be more clearly recognized as the sole leader of Meta.
The four senior lieutenants are Andrew Bosworth, chief technology officer. Nick CleggPresident of World Affairs; Chris Cox, Chief Product Officer; And Mr. Olivan, who was head of development, said in a Facebook message about Ms. Sandberg’s departure on Wednesday.
Each of the four men has great responsibilities. Mr. Clegg is the public face and ambassador for Meta, while Mr. Bosworth is pushing the company into the depths of the world. The so-called metaverse. Mr Cox oversees the family of meta apps – Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger and Facebook – and Mr Olivan will be in charge of analytics, infrastructure and development.
But none of them have as much power as Ms. Sandberg did when she was running the business effectively, while Mr. Zuckerberg focused on developing Facebook products.
Mr Zuckerberg hinted at a change of government in his speech on Wednesday. Facebook post. He said he “did not intend to change Sheryl’s role in our current structure,” adding that the meta “has reached a point where it makes sense that all of our product and business groups Integrate more closely rather than doing business and operations. Functions arranged separately from our products. “
Professor in Business at RA Farrokhnia, Colombia Engineering The schools said the change in management structure was significant because Meta invested in Metavers and I. Moved away from the social networking model. That Ms. Sandberg built the advertising business and competed with it for years.
To move in that direction, we need a more decentralized – and more traditional – governance structure, “said Mr Farrokhnia. “You have a lot of people coming together where the combination of parts gets huge.”
A Meta spokesman declined to comment and declined to comment further.
Over the years, Mr. Zuckerberg and Ms. Sandberg have had clear responsibilities, often referred to by employees as “Sandberg Side” and “Mark Side”. Ms. Sandberg ran the business, policy and legal teams with great autonomy, while Mr. Zuckerberg was in charge of the engineering and product teams.
That began to change in 2020 after Facebook dealt with privacy, misinformation and other toxic content scandals on the platform. Mr Zuckerberg told his teams: He apologized And wanted to spend more time and attention on the innovative products that the company was designing.
Since then, Mr. Zuckerberg has gained greater control over public messaging and policy decisions, which Ms. Sandberg handles. He hired public policy experts and promoted longtime executives who were loyal to his vision.
The three executives he promoted were Mr. Bosworth and Mr. Cox, who have been with the company for 16 years, and Mr. Olivine, who joined about 15 years ago. He was involved in the initial recruitment of Mr. Zuckerberg, and was instrumental in creating the initial version of Facebook.
Mr Olivan, 44, who is known internally as Javi, joined Facebook as head of international development and his ranks continued to grow. He is not a household name but oversaw the rapid spread of Facebook and was closely involved in maintaining the company’s technical infrastructure.
Mr. Bosworth, 40, is seen as a passionate and sometimes cheerful man for Mr. Zuckerberg’s vision. In January, he was Promoted to the next Chief Technology Officer.. He oversees virtual and augmented reality labs, which make products like Quest virtual reality headsets that are Mr. Zuckerberg’s focal point for Metavers. He and Mr. Zuckerberg are also close friends who spend the holidays together.
Mr Cox, 39, who became chief product officer in 2005, has been described by many employees as the heart of the company. He left Facebook in March 2019 but returned in June 2020, sparking speculation that Mr Zuckerberg might be referring to him as his successor.
During Mr Cox’s absence, some of his teams were reassigned to report directly to Mr Zuckerberg or other executives, said two senior Meta employees who have been with Mr Cox since his return. What work He asserted that his confession had been obtained through torture, and that his confession had been obtained through torture.
Mr Clegg, 55, joined the company in 2018 after a career in British politics, including serving as Deputy Prime Minister. Ms. Sandberg hired him to handle Facebook’s thorny political issues globally, a job she once had. Over time, he has become a kind of de facto head of state for the company, working with global governments and advocating for meta at the regulatory level. In February, he was Promoted Reporting to the President of World Affairs, Mr. Zuckerberg.
In the meta, insiders have long speculated about who would be Mr Zuckerberg’s possible successor, if he ever leaves. Ms. Sandberg’s forthcoming departure has now shortened the list and left no clear answer.
“Over the years, a few people have emerged as potential successors to Mark,” said Katie Harbath, director of public policy at Meta, who left the company last year. “It makes sense for Mark to want options for potential successors.”
He added: “Focusing on just one person can be dangerous.”