Leaked transcript: What Mark Zuckerberg informed Meta staff about Sheryl Sandberg’s exit

Sheryl Sandberg and Mark Zuckerberg walking side by side outdoors.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and departing COO Sheryl Sandberg pictured on July 8, 2021. | Kevin Dietsch/Getty Photos

The CEO’s feedback provide insights into the corporate as one in every of its most formative and distinguished leaders is leaving.

Meta held a digital assembly for its greater than 70,000 staff on Thursday, and there was a particular matter of dialogue: the lately introduced departure of Sheryl Sandberg, its longtime No. 2 govt.

“Folks requested me all day yesterday, ‘Why now? Why now?’ Why now’s as a result of it’s time to put in writing the subsequent chapter of my life,” Sandberg stated on the assembly, which Recode obtained an unique recording of and has transcribed under. “However actually, [it’s] as a result of I’ve a lot religion within the management group Mark and I’ve put in place,” she continued.

The assembly centered on Sandberg’s contributions to Meta’s enterprise — particularly, making it worthwhile — in addition to Sandberg’s early recollections of Zuckerberg, and Zuckerberg’s plans to extra intently combine Meta’s product and enterprise groups when Sandberg exits.

Sandberg’s departure comes at a time of unparalleled uncertainty about the way forward for Meta, the corporate previously often known as Fb. The tech large has reoriented its imaginative and prescient away from social media to concentrate on constructing the “metaverse”; in the meantime, its inventory value has confronted historic dips, and it continues to face the continuing risk of regulatory scrutiny.

Which is why the departure of Sandberg — who was lengthy thought-about “the grownup within the room” who helped Zuckerberg mature his enterprise — despatched shock waves by means of the corporate and your entire tech business.

In contrast to in common weekly govt Q&A conferences usually held each week at Meta, the “fireplace chat” format of Thursday’s assembly meant that the corporate didn’t take direct questions from staff. The roughly 30-minute dialogue was principally Sandberg and Zuckerberg expressing their gratitude for one another. Zuckerberg thanked Sandberg for instructing his 23-year-old self “how one can run an organization,” and Sandberg complimented Zuckerberg for his imaginative and prescient and the groups they constructed collectively.

They made no point out of the most important points dealing with the corporate, similar to Meta’s ongoing challenges round content material moderation (which Sandberg oversaw), Fb’s declining relevance with youthful customers amid the rise of its competitor TikTok, and skepticism about the way forward for the metaverse.

The congratulatory tone of the assembly additionally glossed over any questions on Zuckerberg and Sandberg’s relationship, which in accordance with a number of experiences has grown extra distant in recent times. (Meta has denied any rift.)

Though the assembly didn’t instantly dive into the various urgent points dealing with the corporate, this leaked recording of a Meta inside assembly provides insights into how the corporate is positioning a pivotal second as one in every of its most formative and distinguished leaders is leaving.

The next is a rush transcript of Meta’s inside assembly on June 2, 2022. This transcript has been edited for size and readability.


Hello, everybody. Thanks a lot for becoming a member of us at present to be with us after the information, you noticed in Worker FYI, from each Mark and Sheryl’s posts. And we’re not going to take any questions — it’s form of totally different than a Q&A this time. However we actually wished to get to listen to from Mark and Sheryl each and converse on to staff concerning the information. So with out additional ado, Mark, we’ll kick it over to you.

Mark Zuckerberg

All proper, thanks. Effectively, I wished to get the corporate collectively to speak about yesterday’s information. As I wrote my publish, that is the tip of an period. It truly is. After 14 years, Sheryl has made the choice to step down from her position as COO of Meta. And I believe it’s exhausting for us to have, sitting the place we’re at present, the place now we have this actually profitable firm, to place ourselves in what issues had been like from when Sheryl joined so as to perceive simply how huge of an influence she’s had on this place.

When Sheryl joined me, it was again in 2008. I used to be 23 years outdated on the time, and I barely knew something about working an organization. We had this nice product on the time, it was an internet site, not a cellular app, it was simply Fb. However it was an ideal product that folks had been tremendous enthusiastic about. We didn’t actually have something in the way in which of a worthwhile enterprise. We had a smattering of some concepts, we didn’t actually have the route of the place we’re gonna go together with advertisements. And we had been actually struggling to only transition from this unfastened startup tradition to an actual group.

And, you recognize, loads of what Sheryl did is she architected our advertisements enterprise, she employed loads of nice individuals, she constructed our administration tradition, and taught me and so many different individuals right here how one can run an organization. And I believe, you recognize, the place we are actually the place now we have this profitable enterprise and now we have a corporation that works effectively. And now we have a whole bunch and in loads of methods 1000’s of nice leaders across the firm who can push them ahead. It’s a really totally different world from the place we had been, when Sheryl was constructing all of that up. So you recognize, I believe loads of her legacy is that she simply created alternatives for hundreds of thousands of individuals around the globe and I believe she deserves loads of the credit score for what Meta is at present.

I believe it’s been actually uncommon for a partnership like this to final so lengthy, Sheryl will say that she thought it might final for 5 years however it lasted for 14. I used to be a bit of extra optimistic that it might have lasted a bit of greater than 5 years. However I imply, sometimes these items don’t final for that lengthy as a result of companies evolve and the wants that folks have evolve, and other people’s ambitions change. However I believe that our partnership labored for thus lengthy, as a result of Sheryl is simply such an incredible particular person and chief and accomplice and buddy and like a lot of what she did, she actually centered on making the partnership work and she or he focuses on nurturing the relationships and serving to the individuals round her develop.

I’m simply tremendous grateful for having had this chance to construct this firm and work so intently with Sheryl, and I really feel like she’s leaving us in an ideal place having skilled so many different superior and gifted individuals right here. And naturally, she’s not going that far as a result of she’s gonna be on our board going ahead. So anyway, it’s tough to overstate how huge of an influence Sheryl’s had on this place. However I simply need to begin off by expressing my gratitude for every little thing that you just’ve finished.

Sheryl Sandberg

Thanks. You recognize, I don’t know if it’s that I anticipated it to final for 5 years. However the story is that I met Mark at this get together. And we form of stood by the wall by the door and talked your entire time. After which we went out to dinner as soon as after which form of, you recognize, he was very recognizable. I used to be not, however I did have a big group at Google. And somebody on that group noticed us there so we didn’t exit once more. We had dinner at my home, we couldn’t have dinner at Mark’s home as a result of Mark — keep in mind you had a studio house with a mattress on the ground. And also you appropriately judged that that was not a very good place to have a dinner with me.

And so we had dinner at my home many, many, many instances for a lot of months. After which on the finish, we went out to dinner. Me and Mark and Dave, my husband, and Priscilla was then his younger girlfriend. And on the way in which there Dave and I talked, he checked out me and stated, “You’ve acquired to have the ability to see your self on this job for 5 years, in any other case this is unnecessary.” And in order that all the time form of rang in my head —and that was, as Mark stated, 14 years in the past — can you’re employed for and with this particular person for the subsequent 5 years of your life? And the reply to that was simply an awesome sure.

And you recognize, I stated this in my publish, however this job has been the respect and privilege of a lifetime, and that basically begins with Mark.

On the way in which in, I requested him for 3 issues: that we might sit collectively, that we might meet each week, and that we might give one another suggestions. And on the third … I requested for him to provide me suggestions each week. And he stated immediately, “nope, I cannot provide you with suggestions each week until you give it to me.” And we arrange, I believe it was Fridays in our early days for our assembly and suggestions days. And I keep in mind in one in every of my very first weeks the suggestions got here immediately and it was on a Tuesday, and I’m like “Whoa, It’s not a suggestions day, suggestions day is Friday.”

However the truth that we talked about that so as to have an actual partnership — and that is one thing I’ve tried to impart to the corporate — as a result of we’re an organization full of individuals, we’re an organization full of relationships, that’s all the relationships between all of you that both make this place work or make this place not work that construct the merchandise or don’t that promote the advertisements or don’t ship or not, that maintain issues working or not. And it’s being trustworthy and direct that retains issues from build up and retains issues on observe. And Mark stated immediately, “Effectively, it doesn’t need to be Friday.” And Mark was all the time actually trustworthy with me.

Once I was occupied with that tradition of suggestions, what’s the suggestions Mark has had for me essentially the most? And it’s actually that we should be bold, right through. I keep in mind when that crash of 2008 occurred, you recognize, and I used to be doom and gloom and thought we’re by no means going to promote one other advert and our 2009 income projections Mark was like “Not ok.” And I stated, “Effectively, you recognize, the markets crashing and the entire world’s imploding.” And everybody remembers this — okay, not all of you as a result of a few of you’re very younger — however loads of us keep in mind this time on this planet and within the markets. And it felt like, there would by no means get the tip of the recession would by no means come up. Mark says, “effectively, we’ve nonetheless acquired to promote advertisements and construct the enterprise by means of this.” And we did.

And at each stage of the sport Mark has all the time pushed us to be bolder. One of many different moments on that I’ve all the time considered is Mark has all the time stated there’s two methods for an organization to fail. A method is it units bold plans and doesn’t meet them. However the second approach is it units plans that aren’t bold and desires them. And he all the time stated, I by no means need the second to occur to us that we are able to’t have plans that received’t actually ship. In the event you look about the place the corporate is correct now, the metaverse plan is bold, and that’s Mark at his best possible. I’m actually grateful to this group.

Folks requested me all day yesterday, “Why now? Why now?” Why now’s as a result of it’s time to put in writing the subsequent chapter of my life. However actually, as a result of I’ve a lot religion within the management group Mark and I’ve put in place, once you have a look at my direct experiences, from Marne to Justin to Molly and Maxine to Lori and Jen and Nick, who’ve already began reporting to Mark months in the past.

[Editor’s notice: Marne Levine is Meta’s chief enterprise officer, Justin Osofsky is Instagram COO & VP of world operations, Molly Cutler is Meta’s VP of strategic response program, and Maxine Williams is Meta’s world chief variety officer. Lori Goler is Meta’s head of individuals, Jennifer Newstead is Meta’s chief authorized officer, and Nick Clegg is Meta’s president of world affairs.]

There’s such a deep bench, and it’s not simply them, it’s the individuals below them, and the individuals below them and the individuals below them. And Javi, [Editor’s note: Javier Olivan is Meta VP of central products and will take over Sandberg’s former role as COO] as he steps into what’s a really totally different, however I believe it’s actually necessary, position for this firm. I’ve a lot religion in all of them. And I simply have a lot gratitude. Thanks all for thus many good posts and messages and calls and texts yesterday sharing your tales. I’m very grateful that I’ve touched lives the way in which a few of you’re saying and I need you to know you’ve touched mine much more. So now I believe we’re going to speak a bit of bit about transition — oh no, I’m sorry, Melinda, you average.


No, I’m simply attempting to carry again tears. And in addition, the concept that that is most likely essentially the most coronary heart emojis that I’ve seen on a dwell broadcast that we’ve finished. Plenty of individuals chiming in saying, “Wow, Mark, and Sheryl, what a partnership for all of those years, it feels like such an ideal friendship as effectively.” After which additionally simply how good it’s been to have two leaders such as you, and particularly on this time and day, how great it’s to see you collectively. So that you talked about one thing, although, I need to return to about our construction and management altering a bit based mostly on the information. So Mark, would you stroll by means of the modifications right here of structurally what’s occurring?

Mark Zuckerberg

Certain. So I believe the very first thing to say is we’re not going to switch Sheryl’s position in the way in which that it’s occurring now, I believe for a couple of causes. One is that it might be inconceivable. And Sheryl is a singular and super-talented chief who joined at a particular context in time in our firm the place there have been all these components of the corporate that wanted to be simply constructed from scratch that weren’t the product.

However going ahead, I believe it makes much more sense to combine the enterprise capabilities and product capabilities collectively, somewhat than having these be type of two separate sides of the corporate. Javi Olivan goes to be the subsequent COO of the corporate. And as a part of that, all the enterprise capabilities, the product teams round advertisements, and commerce, enterprise messaging funds, are going to be there in addition to Marne Levine, our chief enterprise officer for the corporate and all the Meta enterprise group. And Javi additionally, he simply has this historical past of being extremely rigorous and centered on effectivity with every little thing that he runs, and I carry on simply including an increasing number of issues to his portfolio over time. However now that he’s along with working these components of the enterprise, he’s additionally going to run, he runs our infrastructure groups and integrity, advertising, analytics, company improvement, and development as effectively.

However I believe it’s necessary to note that — begin to acknowledge that — this position goes to be a special COO position than what Sheryl has finished. It’s going to be a extra conventional COO position, the place Javi goes to be centered primarily internally and operationally. And for essentially the most half, I believe individuals externally should not actually going to listen to from him. The form of position of the highest public enterprise particular person on the firm goes to be Marne as chief enterprise officer. And he or she has already performed a bunch of this position and has helped to knit the Meta enterprise group along with the gross sales group and the partnerships organizations.

And loads of what we’re going to do over the remainder of this yr as Sheryl transitions in her day-to-day position is simply guarantee that we transition all of the relationships over to Marne, and Marne’s actually going to be the form of prime one that offers with all of the CEOs of the businesses that we accomplice with and working all of the partnerships and the work that we do there, reporting into Javi’s org.

One of many huge legacies that Sheryl has is simply having all these superior leaders who’re going to tackle these greater roles now, a few of them have already stepped into greater roles. So that features the oldsters like Jennifer Newstead, who stepped into a job as our chief authorized officer final yr, in addition to Nick Clegg, who stepped into a job as our president of world affairs earlier this yr. And people people had been already twin reporting to me and Sheryl, so simply very naturally, they’ll simply proceed reporting to me now.

On the individuals facet, now we have Lori Goler I’ve labored extraordinarily shut with for a very long time, so she’ll now report on to me. Maxine Williams, our chief variety officer, goes to proceed working within the individuals group, however she’s been in my employees assembly for quite a lot of years now and goes to proceed doing that too, and simply has a extremely beneficial voice in that group that I’ve appreciated and can proceed to lean on.

After which on the identical time, Molly Cutler, who has run our strategic response group, can also be going to hitch Javi’s group reporting to Naomi with the identical fundamental concentrate on enhancing our decision-making and execution effectivity. And that’s going to be the large focus there. So we’ll share extra details about the orgs within the coming weeks as we work every little thing out, that’s type of the highest stage of issues. However I believe over time, we’re going to need to simply guarantee that these totally different teams are extra built-in effectively collectively, I believe having the merchandise nearer to the totally different enterprise and operational teams goes to make every little thing run extra effectively, we’ll be capable to get higher suggestions from our clients and purchasers and other people in our neighborhood extra instantly into our product group phase. That’s going to be nice. And that I believe is an efficient form of subsequent step for the group to take.

However I imply, look, it’s, once more, it’s simply exhausting to overstate how huge of an influence Sheryl has had. I stay up for all these people who she’s skilled up persevering with to work with them, and I’ve an enormous quantity of confidence that they’re gonna be capable to maintain pushing this all ahead. However it’s clearly huge footwear to fill.


Oh, I like that. Mark. Thanks for that. I need to take a couple of minutes simply to speak to you each about a few of the tales that I’ve had the privilege of listening to about your relationship and partnership that I believe can be value speaking about for workers as effectively. You recognize, Mark, you stated one thing attention-grabbing the opposite day, this firm was so totally different earlier than Sheryl began. And such as you stated, she has made an amazing influence, however I’d love to listen to, you recognize, how this has gone for the myriad of years that you just’ve been collectively and what that appears like from then to now.

Mark Zuckerberg

Certain. You need to begin Sheryl, or ought to I?

Sheryl Sandberg

I suppose if it’s earlier than I used to be right here, you could begin?

Mark Zuckerberg

Yeah, effectively, I imply, I believe the most important factor that it’s tough for individuals at present to actually admire is simply how totally different the context was across the firm. I imply, at present, we’re this very profitable firm, it’s type of exhausting to — you recognize, when one thing works, it’s exhausting to look again and assume a world the place it won’t have labored. However you recognize, on the time when Sheryl joined, we had an ideal product, however it was a time earlier than there have been loads of, you recognize, the profitable internet 2.zero corporations as they had been referred to as. It simply wasn’t clear to lots of people that promoting was going to have the ability to gas a sustainable enterprise, a lot much less a massively profitable one.

We needed to make this huge transition from being this type of unfastened startup tradition to calling it a corporation. However I imply, which may even be overstating what it was on the time. However transitioning that to truly being an actual firm that may execute on a bunch of various issues directly and have some rigor.

And these had been all issues that nobody on the firm had ever had any expertise doing, proper? So we constructed this product, I had some expertise coding and constructing issues that folks appreciated, and I felt fairly assured that I might maintain doing that. And we might construct groups to maintain doing that. However nobody had ever constructed an enormous worthwhile advertisements enterprise or scaled an organization or a corporation to a whole bunch or 1000’s of individuals earlier than, and we didn’t know the way to try this.

And that’s when Sheryl got here in, and never solely put the buildings in place, the advertisements facet actually simply centered us over a interval of years that that was going to be the primary approach that we had been going to generate income till it actually began working. However alongside the way in which, she simply skilled so lots of the key individuals right here and introduced in lots of people and skilled them on how one can be the leaders that this firm wanted.

So, you recognize, on the time when she joined, lots of people made this joke, though it actually wasn’t a joke on the time, that she was type of the grownup supervision for the corporate.

However I believe now she’s type of raised a era of grownup managers on the firm, who I believe now can run very advanced and large issues on their very own. And I believe, Sheryl, you possibly can converse to this, however think about that simply seeing all these people develop up and type of take after you and the way you’ve been the way you constructed the group across the firm, might be one thing that you just take an enormous quantity of delight in.

However you recognize, in the end, the take a look at of any chief is can they step again from a day-to-day position and have issues proceed doing effectively, as a result of I imply, face it — whether or not you’re leaving the corporate, or simply if you wish to tackle extra duty and new tasks, it’s type of all of our job to have the ability to arrange the individuals round us to have the ability to do what we’re presently doing at present, in order that we are able to do extra or various things sooner or later. And I believe Sheryl has simply finished that basically effectively. However from the place we sit at present, I believe it’s actually exhausting until you had been form of there on the time. And even for me, it’s exhausting to form of put myself again within the footwear of how chaotic issues had been 14 years in the past, however you actually have to understand that so as to perceive simply how huge of an influence Sheryl has had on this place.

Sheryl Sandberg

Thanks. So good. You recognize, after I assume again to taking this job, Mark is so sort to share a lot credit score. However the product that this firm had constructed — that Mark had constructed, {that a} very small group of individuals had constructed — was so highly effective. And I had used it and joined, I suppose, Fb, in 2007 as a consumer, and I used to be simply amazed that folks would share and put their actual id on-line. And that wasn’t apparent to me coming from Google when search and anonymity and also you’re in search of particular data at a particular a part of time that goes to you solely. However there was all the time this nice ardour in what we had been doing.

And Mark all the time thought, he stated earlier than, I assumed somebody would construct this, he simply didn’t know what can be them. However it was them. And I acquired the chance to hitch. You talked concerning the delight I’d soak up a few of the individuals who have grown up right here — I’ve grown up right here too. And instantly I consider Naomi, who was right here after I joined who’s now taking over a bit of what I used to be doing in one of many extra necessary components is Molly Cutler and her superb group, and has been such an ideal product, and enterprise and strategic chief for us however I believe was proper out of college then. Mark and I talked about rising up collectively.

And it’s actually true that none of us might have foreseen what this could possibly be. None of us might have thought – I keep in mind, we had been in a bunch of downtown buildings —Mark, you’ll keep in mind —in Palo Alto once we took what was now basic campus. And I keep in mind taking that tour pondering “Oh, my god, this place is large. Do we’d like this a lot house?” And now I’m sitting so distant proper now in my room from that campus that I believe is an efficient 15 minute stroll to the place I assumed these buildings — possibly 25 minutes — to the final of those buildings the place I assumed that house was simply so ginormous. We might by no means fill it. However the factor is — had been you [Zuckerberg] gonna say one thing?

Mark Zuckerberg


Sheryl Sandberg

I keep in mind after I informed you once we initially went to that campus, Mark was frightened that there wasn’t sufficient stuff on the campus and I informed you we might attempt to get a McDonald’s, do not forget that?

Mark Zuckerberg

Um, yeah, roughly.

Sheryl Sandberg

Roughly. We acquired on this bus. And we had been in search of a campus for a very long time and I stated to Mark, I stated two issues are true: One, you’re not going to love this, and two, we’re signing the lease in like three days [laughing] as a result of we’re out of choices. And the explanation he didn’t like it’s that earlier than our groups — our superb facility groups — took over it was a bit of drab, and a bit of not vigorous. That absolutely modified, however we by no means did fairly get McDonald’s there.

Mark Zuckerberg

That’s okay.

Sheryl Sandberg

However we produced higher meals on our personal due to our culinary group. However one factor that’s been true all alongside is the deep ambitions this firm has. And I’ve all the time thought that a part of the partnership Mark and I’ve is that Mark all the time pushed me to be greater, assume bigger, get extra finished. And I all the time clarify to Mark that there’s like 80 steps between right here and getting that finished. However the targets of setting issues excessive.

And one of many issues I’m most enthusiastic about and why I’m so honored to remain on the board is I might have by no means envisioned the merchandise we’re constructing within the metaverse and Mark’s imaginative and prescient for this, after I get to speak to him about it, which frequently feels like speaking to Mark at the start. Once I was right here 14 years in the past and occupied with becoming a member of, that he’s seeing one thing that I don’t know if anybody else sees and he has that once-in-a-generation visionary that I believe has finished earlier than and can do it once more, with the assistance of everybody, of everybody on this firm.

Mark Zuckerberg

I’ve had this in my publish, however I do need to say it out loud, which is each single day on this job, somebody does one thing that blows me away. I simply checked out this. I stated, “Oh my God, that is so giving, so beneficiant, so good, so strategic, so inventive.” I see that every single day. And that I believe is why we’ll proceed to be so profitable


Oh, I imply, each time I get on, I’m like attempting to wipe away tears. Okay, I do know I’m being dramatic, however it’s true. There’s a remark right here that I’ve to learn for you each. It takes great empathy and braveness to acknowledge your long-term and longtime colleagues’ contributions, whereas ensuring the corporate has what it must evolve. So thanks, Mark, for modeling care and brave communication. After which Sheryl, on your work, your grace, your affect, what you are promoting acumen, that may go away an enduring legacy. I imply, that just about sums it up, for certain, you each have allowed me to have a seat on the desk and mentors of mine, and I’ll be eternally grateful. And I do know that loads of staff really feel the identical. Now we have about two minutes left. So any closing ideas in any respect to share?

Mark Zuckerberg

Perhaps I’ll simply shut, equally to how I opened, however I simply assume that it actually is difficult to overstate the influence that Sheryl has had on this place. And I believe a lot of what we’ve constructed now versus again to issues that she has finished. I’m personally going to be unhappy to not get an opportunity to work with you as intently going ahead, though I’m glad that you just’re gonna be on the board. However greater than something, I’m simply grateful for every little thing that you just’ve finished. And, and for leaving the corporate in such a very good place with — though there’s loads that we nonetheless have to do and loads of challenges — organizationally and from a individuals perspective, now we have nice individuals and loads of that, I believe is due to the groups that you just’ve constructed. So I’m simply extremely grateful. And I believe it’s actually exhausting to specific that sufficient for what you’ve finished for this place.

Sheryl Sandberg

I’ll shut saying the identical factor. I’m extremely grateful to you, Mark. Your kindness and your generosity, the fervour with which you run this firm, every single day is touched many lives. You’ve touched the lives of not simply hundreds of thousands, however billions of individuals around the globe. And I’m extremely grateful to the individuals who have joined us, to the individuals who work right here, to the individuals who will proceed to construct the merchandise that I’m gonna proceed to make use of and revel in, hopefully for the remainder of my life. Deep, deep, deep, deep love and gratitude. Thanks all. Thanks, Mark.

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