Compared to Sheryl Sandberg, not much is known about Javier Olivan, the person replacing Sandberg as COO at the social media giant. Olivan, who is reportedly known as “Javi” at the company, is one of the handful of senior execs that report to Zuckerberg himself. While Sandberg has 900,000 Instagram followers, Olivan has a private account with 17 followers. He’s been at the company for 15 years, and over the last five months, he became chief growth officer. He’s also vice president of cross-Meta products and infrastructure.
He was born in Sabiñánigo, Spain in 1977 and graduated from the University of Navarra with a master’s degree in electrical and industrial engineering. From there he worked in Europe and Asia before graduating from Stanford Business School in 2007 and landing in Silicon Valley at Facebook. He’s apparently one of the driving forces behind Meta’s global expansion, pushing for acquisitions like WhatsApp in 2014. Today, over 90% of monthly users are outside of North America.
“I want to thank Sheryl for everything she’s done for Meta and for the billions of people around the world who use our products. It’s hard to fully describe the incredible impact she’s had at this company. I’ve learned a lot from her over the years, and she’s not only been a great colleague but become a personal friend, too,” Olivan wrote on a Facebook post.
“I’m excited to take on this new challenge as COO,” wrote Olivan. “As Mark said, you can’t really replace someone like Sheryl; so while I’ll have the same title, this will be a different role. Sheryl has been a remarkable advocate for Meta and has worked with partners and helped to tell our story to external audiences for years … I’ve had the privilege of working with talented teams like Growth, Integrity, ABP, Infra, Corporate Development and many others – and I’m going to keep working with all these teams in my new role to ensure we keep building the company’s reputation for operational excellence and rigor.”
Read Olivan’s full comments here.