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Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg had falling out over the metaverse


Mark Zuckerberg’s longtime lieutenant Sheryl Sandberg “was just done” with the Meta boss after he made the decision to pivot the company away from its bread-and-butter social media-based business and toward the metaverse, according to a report.

Sandberg, the “Lean In” author and former Google executive, served as Zuckerberg’s No. 2 at Facebook parent company Meta for 14 years before stepping down last year.

While she still serves on the company’s board of directors, Sandberg reportedly grew disillusioned with Zuckerberg’s shift toward the metaverse — the immersive, online-based virtual world that is accessible through virtual reality and augmented reality headsets.

“She wanted no part of the metaverse,” a source told Insider when discussing the breakdown of the Sandberg-Zuckerberg partnership.

“She was just done.”

Zuckerberg poured billions of dollars into pushing the company into the metaverse — angering shareholders who couldn’t figure out the rationale for the expenditure at a time when the company stock was tanking.


Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg (right) and his then-COO, Sheryl Sandberg, had a falling out over his decision to pivot to the metaverse, according to a report.
Getty Images

Reality Labs, the division of Meta that develops VR and AR technology, recently reported an operating loss of $3.7 billion.

Last year, Reality Labs lost a total of $13.7 billion though it generated $2.16 billion in revenue — most of which was due to sales of its Quest VR headsets.

Since the start of last year, Reality Labs has lost $21.3 billion.

Nonetheless, Meta has seen its stock price mostly recover thanks to Zuckerberg’s “year of efficiency,” which has been marked by layoffs and restructuring.

In the last year, Meta’s stock price has risen by more than 156%. It closed down 2.1% at $318.60 on Monday.


Sandberg, the author of "Lean In," stepped down as COO of Meta last year after 14 years at the company.
Sandberg, the author of “Lean In,” stepped down as COO of Meta last year after 14 years at the company.
Getty Images for Vanity Fair

The relationship between Sandberg and Zuckerberg became frayed in recent years in part due to the physical distance between them that grew during the COVID pandemic, according to Insider.

Before the pandemic, Zuckerberg and Sandberg would meet regularly every Friday at the company’s Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters.

When COVID hit, some Meta employees stayed at Zuckerberg’s estate in Hawaii, but Sandberg wasn’t one of them, according to Insider.


"She wanted no part of the metaverse," a source familiar with the matter told Insider.
“She wanted no part of the metaverse,” a source familiar with the matter told Insider.
Getty Images for AOL

Sandberg and other longtime executives departed at around the same time, including Mike Schroepfer, the chief technology officer, and Marne Levine, who was chief business officer.

Zuckerberg ended up replacing those executives with people who did not have the same cachet — enabling the CEO to consolidate power and shrink his inner circle to a small, trusted group of advisers, Insider reported.

Zuckerberg, whom Bloomberg Billionaires Index lists as the seventh-richest person in the world with a net worth of $118 billion as of Monday, has been raising his public profile in recent months.

He became father to a third child, won a Brazilian jiu-jitsu tournament, and posed shirtless while sporting rock-hard abs next to mixed martial arts trainers in anticipation of a potential cage match with tech rival Elon Musk.

Over the weekend, the doting dad of three young girls was spotted at the Taylor Swift concert in Santa Clara, Calif.



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