With the news this week that Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is leaving parent company Meta, investors have been keen to know who CEO Mark Zuckerberg will select as his new No. 2.
Zuckerberg himself said on Facebook he did not “plan to replace Sheryl’s role in our existing structure.”
Zuckerberg, who has now been at Facebook’s helm for 18 years, said the power shift is going, instead, to four crucial executives whom he implicitly trusts. They are: Andrew Bosworth, chief technology officer; Nick Clegg, president of global affairs; Chris Cox, chief product officer; and Javier Olivan, head of growth.
A shift began at Facebook in 2000 that enlightens why this consolidation and formalization of duties under Zuckerberg makes sense, The New York Times reports. That was the year Facebook began getting slammed with scandals, lawsuits and Congressional inquiries into privacy, misinformation, toxic content, and selective acceptance of users and dissemination of information.
Zuckerberg responded to the unwanted pressure by hiring people with public policy expertise and by promoting loyalists, so that he could refocus on developing innovative products.
The new organization will reportedly enable Zuckerberg to have better control over all of Meta’s divisions. Even combined, the four newly promoted division heads will not command as much power as Sandberg did, NYT says.
What the new structure will also do for Meta is, enable the company to shift from advertising-supported social media to the metaverse, says Columbia Business and Engineering Professor R.A. Farrokhnia.
A more important, still unanswered question is: Who will succeed Zuckerberg if he ever leaves?
While the new promotions compress the short list, they still leave no clear answers.
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