End of the long Meta goodbye for Sheryl Sandberg. Is Washington next?

Former chief operating officer of company behind Facebook has stepped down from the Meta board. But is she swapping Silicon Valley for Capitol Hill?

Sheryl Sandberg, who stepped down as chief operating officer of Facebook-owner Meta in 2022, has now announced she will also depart the company’s board of directors after her term ends in May. But is she leaning out or just clearing the decks?

Sandberg (54) is a billionaire who did a 14-year stint as chief operating officer and has served on the board for 12 of those. When she left her executive role, she said it was because she wanted to “make more room to do more philanthropically, to do more with my foundation”. She has had a long and financially rewarding career. Before Facebook/Meta, she was a senior executive in Google. In other words, she doesn’t have to do anything.

But she doesn’t seem the type to sit back. Even before she joined Facebook, the author of Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead was noted for her Democrat connections. Over a fraught decade of shifting political sands, Sandberg’s name was repeatedly mentioned in dispatches, albeit with little evidence that she was ever Washington-bound.

She has never indicated a desire to actually run for office. But perhaps a position in Joe Biden’s cabinet, should he win re-election this year, would not be unthinkable?


Sandberg, who was credited with transforming Facebook from a social media start-up into a global advertising giant, was also the face of Facebook’s serious moderation and privacy failings for a number of years. This is probably less of a problem than it would have been in the last political cycle. Even before she stepped back, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg had started to take on more of that public role and, with it, more of the flak.

Political memories are short. Ultimately, Sandberg exudes a quality that many Americans love, no matter what: success.