Adland’s verdict on the exit of Meta COO Sheryl Sandberg: ‘She hung on for longer than many anticipated’

It’s the stop of an era with Meta’s chief working officer Sheryl Sandberg’s deliberate exit from a 14-yr chapter on the social media broad, a length of unquestionable success but one additionally marred by controversy.

Sandberg is due to vacate her role in the autumn of 2022, despite the reality that she will remain on Meta’s board, with chief growth officer Javier Olivan on aim to salvage over the role of COO with the talismanic exec claiming she became as soon as “now not fully obvious what the long term will raise.”

Because the inventory tag of the Facebook mum or dad company continues to stumble — while down by 2.5% after hours on the day of the announcement, its market cap remained very without problems north of $500 billion — Digiday asked the ad industry to replicate on her tenure.

The ‘grownup in the room’

Broadly deemed as “the grownup in the room” on the social community, Sandberg joined Facebook in 2008 true four years after it became as soon as based mostly by CEO Label Zuckerberg — he became as soon as prone true 23 when she joined straight from Google. “Sheryl architected our commercials exchange, employed gargantuan of us, solid our administration culture, and taught me the vogue to dash a company,” he wrote in a assertion reflecting on her tenure.

Replacing her is less complicated to originate in title than capabilities.

Allen Adamson, Metaforce

All over her 14-yr dash on the tip of the company, Facebook scaled the heights of social media unseating incumbents equivalent to MySpace, while Sandberg’s efforts in rising its advertising offering in the end played a broad role in its transition from Silicon Valley start-as much as publicly listed behemoth.

Matt Prohaska, CEO of Prohaska Consulting, said her efforts at “two of essentially the most easy mousetraps ever constructed in media” are considerable of credit, but she must additionally be held accountable for the lowlights that took build on her undercover agent.

“Zuckerberg has continuously been build out because the face of the franchise but she clearly has been the brains of your complete operation,” he said. “Each decision that became as soon as central to monetization referring to its use of facts, each use and abuse, indulge in been beneath her withhold an eye on.”

Facebook changed its name to Meta in October 2021 amid a broader industry reckoning on client privateness — and a transfer to dazzle advertisers in the metaverse. “She’s additionally develop to be central to what the company has develop to be in attempting to originate its effectively-earned contaminated popularity by altering the name of the company to distract of us,” Prohaska said.

Meanwhile, but one more advertising govt, who requested anonymity given their company’s interactions with Meta, effectively-known that controversies touching on Facebook’s media offering, such because the a few snafus over efficiency dimension, now not to illustrate knowledge safety and train material-curation issues, indulge in marred its popularity.

“She hung on for longer than many had anticipated — now not true thanks to the metrics but additionally the sense that there became as soon as a lag along with the drift politically in direction of the Peter Theil camp in Zuckerberg land,” effectively-known the provide. “Advertisers precise form now are already deeply cynical in the case of Meta so this doesn’t necessarily exchange that.”

Exits at a time of existential threats

The announcement of Sandberg’s exit comes lower than a yr after Carolyn Everson, an exec that many additionally really apt really apt one of the faces of the social networking broad on Madison Avenue exited the company.

Mack McKelvey, founder and CEO of strategic marketing agency SalientMG, effectively-known how these key departures emerged at a time when its commercials team faces rising opponents from the likes of TikTok in addition to emergent threats equivalent to retail media, now not to illustrate opposition from platforms equivalent to Apple.

“Given the upward thrust of Amazon’s advertising exchange, a seemingly ad intention from Netflix on the horizon, and the persevered challenges Meta faces from Apple’s privateness aspects; it’s without a doubt time for Meta to recalibrate its formulation to advertising,” she wrote. “Sheryl’s departure ought to without a doubt pave the formulation for tag new approaches and a lot of discussions in Cannes.”

Allen Adamson, co-founder of name consultancy Metaforce, effectively-known how Sandberg’s departure is “the final thing the company desires precise form now” in the case of its reputational inventory on Madison Avenue given her stabilizing role in Meta’s C-suite.

“No formulation the following 5 years shall be as fun because the important thing 10,” said Adamson. “Yet but one more section of the muse is shaky, COO retains your complete balls in the air your complete time. Replacing her is less complicated to originate in title than capabilities.”

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