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Sandberg’s Successor Javier Olivan Says He’ll Be a Different Meta COO


  • Sheryl Sandberg said Wednesday she’s stepping down as COO of Meta after 14 years at the company.
  • She’ll be replaced by chief growth officer Javier Olivan who’s been with Meta for 15 years.
  • Olivan said he won’t be as “public-facing” as Sandberg and focus more on working with multiple teams.

Sheryl Sandberg’s successor as Meta COO said that he plans to stay out of the public spotlight and instead devote his time to strengthening relationships across teams within the company.

Meta’s chief growth officer, Javier Olivan, will be taking over for Sandberg, who announced on Wednesday that she’d be leaving her post as COO after 14 years at the company to focus more on philanthropy. Olivan joined Meta in 2007 to oversee the international adoption of Facebook.

“You can’t really replace someone like Sheryl; so while I’ll have the same title, this will be a different role,” Olivan said in a Facebook post.

Sandberg was often seen as the public face of Facebook, including speaking on behalf of the company when it was hit by scandals. In 2018, she defended the social network’s role in the now-infamous Cambridge Analytica scandal. That same year, she testified in Congress over Facebook’s role in allowing Russia to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. 

Olivan said on Wednesday that he doesn’t expect that his role at Meta will have “the same public-facing aspect.” 

“Sheryl has been a remarkable advocate for Meta and has worked with partners and helped to tell our story to external audiences for years. With some exceptions, I don’t anticipate my role will have the same public-facing aspect, given that we have other leaders at Meta who are already responsible for that work,” he said in the post. 

Instead, Olivan said that he would be behind the scenes, working with different teams to build products.

“As Meta continues to grow, one of my biggest priorities will be to ensure that the business products and partnerships sides of our company are in lockstep,” he continued.

Olivan has taken on multiple responsibilities during his time at Meta, his LinkedIn bio shows. 

As chief growth officer, he currently oversees and manages Meta’s apps, including Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and


Whatsapp

, and works across data science, UX research, internationalization, and content strategy teams.

Before joining Meta, Olivan was a product manager at Siemens Mobile. He received his MBA from Stanford University and master’s degrees in electrical and industrial engineering from the University of Navarra in Spain, where he grew up, according to his company bio.

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