Sheryl Sandberg, who has been a close associate of Mark Zuckerberg for a long time, became disenchanted with him when he decided to shift the company’s focus from its traditional social media business to the metaverse. Sandberg, known for her book “Lean In” and her previous role at Google, served as the second-in-command at Meta’s parent company, Facebook, for 14 years before stepping down last year.
Despite retaining a position on the company’s board of directors, Sandberg reportedly became disillusioned with Zuckerberg’s direction towards the metaverse. The metaverse is an immersive online virtual world accessible through virtual reality and augmented reality headsets, but she apparently had no interest in being part of it. Insider’s source mentioned the breakdown of the Sandberg-Zuckerberg partnership in this regard.
Despite the company’s declining stock value, Mark Zuckerberg invested billions of dollars to push Meta into the metaverse, which left shareholders puzzled about the reasoning behind such a significant expense.
The division responsible for developing virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technology, called Reality Labs, recently reported an operating loss of $3.7 billion. Last year, Reality Labs incurred a total loss of $13.7 billion, although it managed to generate $2.16 billion in revenue, primarily from the sales of its Quest VR headsets.
Reality Labs Face Losses, While Meta’s Stock Price Soars
Over the course of the previous year, Reality Labs has faced a staggering $21.3 billion in losses. However, Meta’s stock price experienced a notable recovery due to Zuckerberg’s “year of efficiency,” which involved strategic layoffs and restructuring efforts.
Despite the challenges, Meta’s stock price has risen substantially, climbing more than 156% in the last year. On Monday, it closed down 2.1% at $318.60.
The relationship between Sandberg and Zuckerberg became strained in recent years, partly due to the physical separation that developed during the COVID pandemic.
Prior to the pandemic, the two used to have regular face-to-face meetings every Friday at the company’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California.
However, when COVID struck, some Meta employees chose to stay at Zuckerberg’s estate in Hawaii, but Sandberg was not among them, as per the information.
Around the same time, Sheryl Sandberg and several other long-serving executives, such as Mike Schroepfer, the chief technology officer, and Marne Levine, the chief business officer, departed from the company.
In response, Mark Zuckerberg appointed replacements who lacked the same level of prestige, allowing him to centralize power and create a smaller, tight-knit group of trusted advisors, according to the report.
As of Monday, Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth of $118 billion, listed by Bloomberg Billionaires Index, makes him the seventh-richest person globally. Over the past few months, he has been increasing his public presence and visibility.
Sheryl Sandberg, a longtime associate of Mark Zuckerberg, grew disillusioned with the shift towards the metaverse, while Meta faced substantial losses. Despite this, Zuckerberg’s “year of efficiency” contributed to the stock price’s significant rise. The pandemic also strained the Sandberg-Zuckerberg relationship. Zuckerberg’s strategic appointments allowed him to consolidate power. His growing public profile accompanies his status as the world’s seventh-richest individual with a net worth of $118 billion.