Who Is Mark Zuckerberg’s New No. 2? It’s a Trick Question.

For more than a decade now, Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg have been meeting together every week, beginning and ending.

The symbolism of the ritual was clear. It was to signal that Mr. Zuckerberg, Matana’s chief executive and Ms. Sandberg, the chief operating officer, was in a lockstop with each other at the top of the company.

But when Ms. Sandberg, 52, said Wednesday she will step down from the meta this fall, she crystallized a vague change in the tech giant: Mr. Zuckerberg no longer has a clear number. 2.

When Mr. Zuckerberg named longtime executive Javier Olivan to run for Mrs. Sandberg’s job When she leaves, the role of chief operating officer in the meta, formerly known as Facebook, has diminished. Mr. Zuckerberg, 38, instead has four executives who have equally large responsibilities and who respond to and execute major decisions through them.

Mr. Zuckerberg made the structural shift because he wanted to strengthen his control over all of the company’s weapons, said three people close to him. When Mr. Zuckerberg has always been the undisputed boss, with most of the company’s voting shares, he shared power with Ms. Sandberg was a small businessman when he needed help to expand the company. But with more than 18 years of experience under his belt, he wants to use all his strength and is more clearly known as the sole leader of the meta, people said.

The four top lieutenants are Andrew Bosworth, chief technology officer; Nick Clegg, President of Global Affairs; Chris Cox, Chief Product Officer; And Mr. Olivan, who was head of growth, said. Ms. Zuckerberg in a Facebook message. Exit Sandberg on Wednesday.

Each of the four men has major responsibilities. Mr. Clegg is the public face and ambassador for Meta, while Mr. Boseworth is pushing the company into the immersive world of so-called metavers. Mr. Cox monitors the family of Metana apps – Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger and Facebook – and Mr. Olivan will be in charge of analytics, infrastructure and growth.

But none of them have as much power as Ms. Sandberg was used, while she was effectively running all business operations while Mr. Zuckerberg focused on developing Facebook products.

Mr. Zuckerberg hinted at a power shift in his Facebook post on Wednesday. He added that they “do not plan to change Sheryl’s role in our existing structure”, adding that the meta “has reached a point where it means integrating more closely for our product and business groups rather than all business and operations. Planned tasks. “

Professor R.A. from Columbia’s School of Business and Engineering. Farrokhania said Meta had invested in Metawars and Ms. Sandberg created the advertising business for him and remained a champion for years.

“Moving in this direction requires a more decentralized – and more traditional – governance structure,” he said. Farokhnia said. “You have multiple people coming together where the sum of the parts gets a lot bigger.”

People who arrived for the meta declined to comment and declined to be interviewed by officials.

For years Mr. Zuckerberg and Ms. Sandberg had clear responsibilities, which employees often referred to as the “Sandberg side” and the “Mark side”. Ms. Sandberg ran business, policy and legal teams with a lot of autonomy, while Mr. Zuckerberg was responsible for the engineering and product team.

Deposit …Meta

That began to change in 2020 after Facebook faced scandals involving privacy, misinformation and other toxic content on the platform. Mr. Zuckerberg told his team that he had completed the apology and wanted to spend more time and focus on innovative products designed by the company.

Since then, Mr. Zuckerberg has gained more control over public messaging and policy decisions, which Ms. Sandberg was in charge. He also brought appointments with mastery of public policy and promoted officers who have long been loyal to his vision.

Three executives were promoted: Bosworth and Mr. Cox, who has been in the company for 16 years, and Mr. Olivan, who joined about 15 years ago. They were among Mr. Zuckerberg’s early recruitment, and the creation of the first version of Facebook was instrumental.

Deposit …Meta

Mr. Olivan, 44, who is known internally as Javi, joined Facebook as head of international development and continued to rise through the ranks. He is not a household name but oversaw the rapid expansion of Facebook and was closely involved in maintaining the company’s technical infrastructure.

Mr. Mr Bosworth, 40. Zuckerberg’s vision. In January, he was promoted to the next chief technical officer. It oversees virtual and augmented reality labs, producing products like Quest Virtual Reality Headsets that are at the heart of Mr. Zuckerberg’s push for metavers. He and Mr. Zuckerberg also has close friends who vacation with.

Mr. Cox, 39, who became chief product officer in 2005, is often described by employees as the heart of the company. He left Facebook in March 2019 but returned in June 2020, fueling speculation that Mr. Zuckerberg may have been hinting at his successor.

Meanwhile Mr. In Cox’s absence, some of his teams were led by Mr. Zuckerberg, or other executives, said two senior meta employees who have worked with Mr. Cox after his return. He said he did not assume the kind of extended role he once played when thousands of engineers were reporting to him.

Deposit …Meta

Mr. Clegg, 55, joined the company in 2018 after a career in British politics, including a tenure as deputy prime minister. Ms. Sandberg hired him to handle Facebook’s thorny political issues globally, which he once had. Over time, he has become a kind of de facto head of state for the company, dealing with world governments and advocating for meta at the regulatory level. In February, he was promoted to head of global affairs, and Mr. Zuckerberg.

At Meta, insiders have long speculated who Shree’s potential successor is. There will be Zuckerberg, he should never leave. Ms. With Sandberg’s imminent departure, that list has now shrunk and no clear answers remain.

“Over the years, some people other than Sheryl have emerged as potential successors to Mark,” said Katie Harbath, director of public policy at Meta, who left the company last year. “It makes sense for Mark to look for alternatives for potential successors.”

She added: “Focusing on just one person can be dangerous.”

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