Sheryl Sandberg, who has been the number two at Meta for several years, is stepping down (she will remain on the board) and replacing her is Meta Platforms veteran Javier Olivan, who has been with the company almost 15 years and has been responsible for the company’s growth.
Mark Zuckerberg once called the Spaniard “one of the most influential people in Facebook’s history”. He has managed to keep a low profile and will probably remain that way. He was originally given the task of growing Facebook’s user base outside the US when it had around 40 million users. Olivan is the best man for the post of COO, which he will take on later this year. He will also have the support of the large team Sandberg had to tackle crisis.
Javi, as he is called by employees, will have a different role as COO than what “Sheryl has done”. Zuckerberg wrote: “It will be a more traditional COO role where Javi will be focused internally and operationally, building on his strong track record of making our execution more efficient and rigorous.”
Javi, grew up in the Pyrenees region of northern Spain, holds degrees in electrical and industrial engineering from the University of Navarra and a master’s in business administration from Stanford University. Before Facebook, he worked at Japan’s NTT and Siemens.
The 44-year-old has been responsible for Facebook’s big push into India, Japan, Russia, Indonesia and Brazil, according to an interview he gave in 2010 to VentureBeat. The man who enjoys paragliding and surfing, will have plenty of tasks to handle, especially in terms of data privacy as well as protecting brands from having their ads appear next to unsuitable content.