Who Is Mark Zuckerberg’s New Second Place? Trick Question

For more than a decade, Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg have been starting and ending weekly meetings.

The symbolism of the ceremony was clear. This is the CEO of Meta, Mr. Zuckerberg and the COO, the lady. She meant that Sandberg had been in contact with each other by company commanders.

But when Sandberg, 52, on Wednesday said he was leaving meta this fall, he made an unspoken change to the tech giant. Zuckerberg no longer has a clear second place.

When Zuckerberg left Sandberg, he appointed executive Javier Olivan to take over from Sandberg, but the COO role at Meta (formerly Facebook) has declined. 38 years old Mr. Zuckerberg has four CEOs with the same great responsibility to answer and manage key decisions.

Zuckerberg has made structural changes to increase control over all parts of the company, three people close to him said. Zuckerberg was the undisputed president, with most of the company’s voting rights, but as a young entrepreneur he shared power with Sandberg when he needed help expanding the company. However, those with more than 18 years of experience have said he wants to go all out and be identified more clearly as the only leader in the meta.

Lieutenant of the Big Four is Andrew Bosworth, Chief Technology Officer. Nick Clegg, head of global operations; Chris Cox, Production Manager; Zuckerberg, who was Chief Growth Officer, spoke about Sandberg’s departure in a Facebook message on Wednesday.

Sheryl Sandberg dies of META

Each of you has great responsibilities. Mr. Clegg is the official face and ambassador of Meta, and Mr. Bosworth pushes the company into the immersive world of the so-called Metaverse. Cox oversees a suite of meta apps such as Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger and Facebook, while Olivan is responsible for analytics, infrastructure and growth.

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But when Zuckerberg focused on Facebook’s product development and Zuckerberg effectively managed all business operations, no one else had the same authority as Sandberg.

Zuckerberg hinted at a power shift in a Facebook post Wednesday. He said that “we have no plans to replace Cheryl’s role in the current structure,” and Meta said that “we have reached a point where it makes more sense for our products and businesses to be more integrated. that integrate all our activities and operations “. “is configured separately from our products. “.

RA Farrokhnia, a professor at Columbia Business School, said the change in governance structure makes sense as meta invests in the metaverse and moves away from the social media model that Sandberg has been building as an advertising company and advocating for years. .

“Moving in this direction requires a more decentralized and traditional management structure “, said Frukhnia. “If the sum of the parts is much greater, more people will get together “.

A spokesperson for Meta declined to comment and also declined to interview executives.

Over the years, Mr. Zuckerberg and Mr. Sandberg have had clear responsibilities that employees often refer to as “on Sandberg’s side ” and “on Mark’s side “. Mr. Sandberg independently managed the corporate, political and legal teams and Mr. Zuckerberg was in charge of the product and engineering teams.

That started to change in 2020 after Facebook faced privacy scandals, disinformation and other malicious content on its platform. Zuckerberg apologized to his team, saying that he wants to devote more time and attention to the innovative products designed by the company.

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Since then, Zuckerberg has more control over public messages and political decisions than Sandberg is used to. He also hired people with public policy experience and fostered a longtime CEO who was true to his vision of him.

The three CEOs he was promoted to are Bosworth and Cox, who have worked with the company for 16 years, and Olivan, who joined the company nearly 15 years ago. They were one of Zuckerberg’s first recruits and were instrumental in building the first version of Facebook.

Known internally as Javi, Mr. Olivian joined Facebook as the Director of International Growth and has been consistently promoted. Although he was not a pseudonym, he oversaw the rapid expansion of Facebook and was closely involved in the maintenance of the company’s technology infrastructure.

Bosworth, 40, is considered an ardent and sometimes outspoken fan of Zuckerberg’s vision. In January he was promoted to the next CTO. He oversees the Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Lab, which makes products like the Quest virtual reality headset at the heart of what Zuckerberg is powering the metaverse. He and Zuckerberg are good friends when they go on vacation together.

Cox, 39, who became product manager in 2005, is often described by employees as the heart of the company. He left Facebook in March 2019 and returned in June 2020, sparking speculation that Zuckerberg may have called him his successor.

While Cox was away, some of his teams were transferred to report directly to Zuckerberg or other executives, said two senior staff members who have worked with Cox since his return. They said he hadn’t taken on the expansionist role he once had with thousands of engineers reporting to him.

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Mr. Clegg, 55, joined the company in 2018 after a career in British politics, including as Deputy Prime Minister. Sandberg hired him to tackle one of the world’s toughest political issues, a task he once took on him. Over time, he became the company’s de facto head of state, negotiating with world governments and supporting Meta at the organizational level. In February he was promoted to Global Operations Manager and brought back to Zuckerberg.

Inside the Meta, experts have long speculated who his potential successor would be if Zuckerberg left. Sandberg’s impending resignation has now shortened the list and left no definitive answer.

“Over the years, few have emerged as potential successors to Mark other than Cheryl ,” said Katie Harbath, director of public policy at Meta, who left the company last year. “It makes sense that Mark wants an option for his potential successors. ”

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