Who is Javier Olivan, new Meta COO? Key force behind international growth

Jun 02, 2022 11:02 AM IST

Sandber's resignation comes as Meta struggles with slowing growth and rising costs. It is transforming from a social media company to one focused on building the metaverse, a collection of virtual worlds that could be a decade away.

Javier Olivan, a veteran of Meta platforms (earlier, and better known as Facebook), is set to succeed Sheryl Sandberg as the chief operating officer after she announced the decision to step down from the post on Wednesday. Said to be the main engine behind Meta's rapid growth, Sandberg is resigning after spending 14 years at the firm. Sandberg is leaving Meta in the fall and will continue to serve on the company's board, reports said.

Currently serving as the chief growth officer, Olivan has been credited to be the key force behind the company's  explosive expansion internationally. ((Image courtesy: linkedin.com/in/javierolivan))
Currently serving as the chief growth officer, Olivan has been credited to be the key force behind the company's  explosive expansion internationally. ((Image courtesy: linkedin.com/in/javierolivan))

The move comes as Meta struggles with slowing growth and rising costs. It is transforming from a social media company to one focused on building the metaverse, a collection of virtual worlds that could be a decade away.

Who is Javier Olivan

Currently serving as the chief growth officer, Olivan has been credited to be the key force behind the company's international explosive expansion. He joined Facebook in 2007 when the social media platform has fewer than 50 million people and “a very small portion of users coming from outside the US.” Now, it has nearly 3.6 billion users across Facebook and other apps such as Instagram, while around 91 per cent of monthly users come from outside the US and Canada.

According to reports, he is also the one who pushed Facebook to acquire the instant messaging app WhatsApp which remains one of the most significant buyouts of the company with a $19 billion acquisition deal. He has also worked with Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Meta platforms, on Internet.org -- an ambitious Facebook project to connect people with the internet in less developed countries.

Before Facebook, Olivan was part of Japan's NTT and Siemens.

The world knows very little about him as he has remained mostly behind the scene. As per a CNBC report, he was born in the small Spanish municipality of Sabiñánigo in 1977. He worked in Europe, Asia before making his way to Silicon Valley.

He has degrees in electrical and industrial engineering from the University of Navarra and a master's in business administration from Stanford University.

According to some media reports, Olivan enjoys paragliding and surfing. In his new job, he will continue to lead infrastructure and corporate development. But his portfolio will also include advertising and business products, Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post on Wednesday.

(With agency inputs)

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