Who is Xavier Olivan? It is the Spaniard who will direct the operation of the meta


Born 44 years ago in Sabinanigo (Huesca), Javier Olivan will succeed Sheryl Sandberg as COO of the American company.

Javier Olivan with Pedro Sanchez in Moncloa.
Javier Olivan with Pedro Sanchez in Moncloa.EM

When Mark Zuckerberg announced on Wednesday, June 1, that Sheryl Sandberg would be stepping down from her duties as META’s COO (chief operating officer, or director of operations), she also left — figuratively, of course — Heart of the Company from Menlo Park, Calif., So Sabinanigo, in Huesca. This municipality of less than 10,000 residents is also building a figurative air bridge with Silicon Valley, appointing Sandberg’s successor, the 44-year-old Spaniard. Xavier Olivan,

Javi, as he is known in the company, has a discreet profile outside of it, but also on his accounts on various meta social networks. He has a closed profile on Instagram, while on Facebook, where he started working in 2007, he commented on the change in position after almost four years of silence: he had not made open publications since November 2018. In that entire year he made three. , which, for comparison, is exactly what Mark Zuckerberg did on May 19.

Olivan’s first job at Meta – then still called Facebook – was to promote the social network’s international development, a job he held between 2007 and 2011 (he previously worked at NTT and Siemens). For example, it was responsible for translating the platform’s applications into Spanish, the first language in which it was available after English. Afterwards, he continued with a job he himself believed was primarily developed by “behind the scenes“And led the infrastructure, integrity, analysis, marketing, corporate development and development teams. The idea is that this will not change.

“I want to thank Sherrill for everything she has done for Meta and for the billions of people who use our products around the world,” the manager began a lengthy message after announcing the change. “You really can’t take the place of someone like Sherrill,” he admitted, “so even though we have the same title, it will be a different role,

Sandberg, for his part, congratulated his friend “Xavi” on his promotion and expressed “deep confidence” in his leadership. “I know you will do a great job for Meta and all the teams that are lucky enough to work with you.”

In March, Huesca’s manager met with President Pedro Sánchez in La Moncloa, when the company announced the construction of the first Meta Lab in the world and a data center in Castilla-La Mancha. Spain, he speculated, “is going to be a strategic point.”

As COO, Olivan will be in charge of directing Meta’s operations, but it looks like he’d prefer to do so, in a way, by shadow, Thus, with “few exceptions”, he does not expect his work to be faced as publicly as its predecessor. Public relations, he explains, “is left to the other meta leaders who are already responsible for that work.”

For Mark Zuckerberg, the change represents “the end of an era,” although Sandberg will remain on the board of directors. Olivan, he pointed out, should be a “more traditional” COO and will focus on working at the company in a “more efficient and rigorous” manner.

As a curiosity, it is rumored that it was Olivan who introduced Mark Zuckerberg to Serrano Haim. As the founder himself explained at an event during Mobile World Congress in 2015, the relationship — Zuckerberg’s and this food, not the manager and new COO’s — led to an infamous incident when a friend sent him acorn-fed ham. Birthday and Security Team he destroyed it thinking it was a bomb, In the same conversation, Zuckerberg, who has just replaced his right hand with his left, explained that a key to Facebook’s growth was to “keep the team as small as possible.”

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