“When I took this job in 2008, I hoped I would be in this role for five years,” she stated. “Fourteen years later, it is time for me to write the next chapter of my life. I am not entirely sure what the future will bring – I have learned no one ever is.”
Sandberg, 52, used her position to advocate for women in the workplace through LeanIn.Org. Before her time at the Menlo Park-based company, she was chief of staff to Bill Clinton’s treasury secretary, Lawrence Summers.
The announcement came as a surprise. In the post, she said she was proud of her team, but she acknowledged that “the debate around social media has changed beyond recognition since those early days.”
“It’s because of this team – past and present – that more than three billion people use our products to keep in touch and share their experiences,” she stated. “More than 200 million businesses use them to create virtual storefronts, communicate with customers, and grow. Billions of dollars have been raised for causes people believe in. Behind each of these statistics is a story. Friends who would have lost touch but didn’t. Families that stayed in contact despite being separated by oceans. Communities that have rallied together. Entrepreneurial people – especially women and others who have faced obstacles and discrimination – who have turned their ideas into successful businesses.”
Sandberg served as COO at the social media platform for 14 years after joining from Google in 2008, four years before Facebook went public.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.