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


For more than a ten years, Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg commenced and finished every week by meeting alongside one another.

The symbolism of the ritual was crystal clear. It was meant to signal that Mr. Zuckerberg, the main govt of Meta, and Ms. Sandberg, the main functioning officer, were in lock stage with each other at the prime of the firm.

But when Ms. Sandberg, 52, explained on Wednesday that she would step down from Meta this slide, she crystallized an unspoken change at the tech huge: Mr. Zuckerberg no more time has any clear No. 2.

Though Mr. Zuckerberg named Javier Olivan, a longtime government, to choose more than Ms. Sandberg’s job when she departs, the significance of the main operating officer function has diminished at Meta, which was previously acknowledged as Facebook. Mr. Zuckerberg, 38, instead has four executives who have equally significant duties and who answer to and operate significant conclusions by him.

Mr. Zuckerberg manufactured the structural shift due to the fact he wished to consolidate his regulate about all arms of the firm, 3 folks shut to him said. Although Mr. Zuckerberg has always been the undisputed manager, with a bulk of the company’s voting shares, he shared electrical power with Ms. Sandberg when he was a younger businessman and wanted assist increasing the firm. But with more than 18 decades of knowledge below his belt, he needs to exercise all of his electricity and be discovered extra clearly as Meta’s sole chief, the individuals mentioned.

The four best lieutenants are Andrew Bosworth, the chief technologies officer Nick Clegg, the president of world affairs Chris Cox, the main products officer and Mr. Olivan, who was the head of progress, Mr. Zuckerberg mentioned in a Facebook information about Ms. Sandberg’s exit on Wednesday.

Each and every of the four men has big duties. Mr. Clegg is the general public experience and ambassador for Meta, although Mr. Bosworth is pushing the organization into the immersive planet of the so-called metaverse. Mr. Cox oversees Meta’s family of applications — Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger and Facebook — and Mr. Olivan will be in cost of analytics, infrastructure and advancement.

But none of them have as much ability as Ms. Sandberg used to, when she correctly ran all of the business functions even though Mr. Zuckerberg focused on acquiring Facebook’s products and solutions.

Mr. Zuckerberg alluded to the electricity shift on Wednesday in his Fb put up. He explained he didn’t “plan to change Sheryl’s function in our existing composition,” incorporating that Meta “has attained the place where it tends to make feeling for our merchandise and business teams to be extra intently built-in, alternatively than obtaining all the business and functions functions organized individually from our products.”

R.A. Farrokhnia, a professor at Columbia’s Business and Engineering Universities, said the change in administration composition made perception as Meta invested in the metaverse and moved away from the social networking product that Ms. Sandberg designed an advertising business for and championed for years.

“Moving in this way necessitates a a lot more decentralized — and additional classic — governance structure,” Mr. Farrokhnia claimed. “You have many people today coming collectively in which the sum of the elements results in being considerably much larger.”

A spokesman for Meta declined to comment and declined to deliver interviews with executives.

For decades, Mr. Zuckerberg and Ms. Sandberg experienced distinct-cut duties, which workforce usually referred to as the “Sandberg side” and “Mark facet.” Ms. Sandberg ran the business, plan and authorized teams with a great deal of autonomy, whilst Mr. Zuckerberg was responsible for the engineering and solution teams.

Credit history…Meta

That started altering in 2020 after Facebook dealt with scandals involving privacy, misinformation and other toxic content material on the platform. Mr. Zuckerberg explained to his teams that he was completed apologizing and preferred to aim far more time and focus on revolutionary products and solutions that the company was designing.

Since then, Mr. Zuckerberg has assumed much more management above public messaging and coverage conclusions, which Ms. Sandberg used to deal with. He also introduced in hires with general public coverage skills and promoted longtime executives who ended up faithful to his eyesight.

3 executives he promoted were being Mr. Bosworth and Mr. Cox, who have been at the enterprise for 16 yrs, and Mr. Olivan, who joined almost 15 years back. They ended up among the Mr. Zuckerberg’s earliest recruits, and ended up instrumental in setting up the earliest versions of Fb.

Credit rating…Meta

Mr. Olivan, 44, who is identified internally as Javi, joined Facebook as head of intercontinental advancement and rose steadily via the ranks. He is not a household title but oversaw Facebook’s fast expansion and was carefully associated with sustaining the company’s technical infrastructure.

Mr. Bosworth, 40, is observed as an enthusiastic and sometimes brash cheerleader for Mr. Zuckerberg’s eyesight. In January, he was promoted to be the following main know-how officer. He oversees the digital and augmented reality labs, which make solutions like the Quest virtual fact headsets that are at the coronary heart of Mr. Zuckerberg’s press for the metaverse. He and Mr. Zuckerberg are also shut mates who getaway alongside one another.

Mr. Cox, 39, who turned main product or service officer in 2005, has frequently been explained by staff as the heart of the business. He remaining Facebook in March 2019 but returned in June 2020, prompting speculation that Mr. Zuckerberg could have been signaling him as a successor.

During Mr. Cox’s absence, some of his groups have been reassigned to report right to Mr. Zuckerberg or other executives, mentioned two senior Meta employees who have worked with Mr. Cox considering the fact that his return. They mentioned he experienced not assumed the sort of expansive position he as soon as experienced with thousands of engineers reporting to him.

Credit rating…Meta

Mr. Clegg, 55, joined the business in 2018 immediately after a vocation in British politics, like a stint as deputy key minister. Ms. Sandberg hired him to just take about dealing with Facebook’s thorny political problems globally, a job that was as soon as hers. Over time, he has grow to be a sort of de facto head of state for the organization, working with world governments and advocating for Meta at a regulatory degree. In February, he was promoted to president of world-wide affairs, reporting to Mr. Zuckerberg.

At Meta, insiders have extensive speculated about who a likely successor to Mr. Zuckerberg would be, really should he at any time go away. Ms. Sandberg’s impending departure has now shortened that listing and left no very clear answers.

“Over the many years, handful of individuals other than Sheryl have emerged as a likely successor to Mark,” claimed Katie Harbath, a director of public coverage at Meta who still left the business final 12 months. “It would make feeling for Mark to want choices for probable successors.”

She added: “It can be risky to only concentration on just one particular person.”


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