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Javier Oliván named new Meta COO

Javier Oliván's designation comes after the resignation of the company's previous chief operating officer.

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After Sheryl Sandberg resigned as chief operating officer of the Facebook parent company, Meta Platforms, after 14 years of serving in this firm, Spanish executive Javier Oliván will take over the next fall as the new COO under the command of Mark Zuckerberg.

Who is Javier Oliván?

Javier "Javi" Oliván was born in 1977 in Sabiñánigo, in the Spanish region of the Northeast of Aragon, near the border with France.

Javier Oliván, COO at Meta Platforms. Photo: Javier Oliván's LinkedIn profile.
Javier Oliván, COO at Meta Platforms. Photo: Javier Oliván's LinkedIn Profile. 

After studying electrical and industrial engineering at the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Oliván joined Siemens to work on mobile communication. After this, he moved to Japan to be part of the Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) team on wireless video.

In 2005, Oliván enrolled at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, where he caught Zuckerberg's attention, who had just finished launching Facebook (as it was known) in 2004.

“At Stanford, Oliván was creating a Spanish-language version of Facebook with several friends—called Nosuni—when Zuckerberg approached him with an offer to lead international growth at the nascent tech giant,” it is highlighted in Fortune.  

After his meeting with Zuckerberg, Oliván, who likes to be discreet, said in a 2018 event:

I told him that he had to internationalize the platform and translate it into all languages.

In 2007, when he joined Meta, Oliván assumed the role of head of international growth, and his first project was to create the Spanish version of the platform, Facebook’s first non-English one.

“Today, 90% of Facebook’s 1.96 billion daily active users come from outside the United States and Canada,” it is pointed out in Meta’s First-Quarter Earnings Report

Oliván was also part of the proposal that ended with the acquisition of WhatsApp in 2014, thanks, in part, to the almost universal use that this application has in his origin country, Spain.

Reactions at Meta

“Javi would become the next COO, but this role will be different from what Sheryl has done. It will be a more traditional COO role where Javi will be focused internally and operationally, building on his strong track record of making our execution more efficient and rigorous, ” stated Zuckerberg.

Oliván pointed out: “Sheryl has been a remarkable advocate for Meta and has worked with partners and helped to tell our story to external audiences for years. With some exceptions, I don’t anticipate my role will have the same public-facing aspect, given that we have other leaders at Meta who are already responsible for that work.”

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