Javier Olivan is a Spanish engineer and the Chief Growth Officer at Meta (formerly known as Facebook). In June 2022, he made headlines when it was announced he would take over the position of Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Meta, succeeding Sheryl Sandberg.
Javier was born in 1977 (age 45 years; as of 2022), and he hails from Sabiñánigo, Huesca, Spain. He grew up paragliding in the Pyrenees mountains, a mountain range straddling the border of France and Spain. He attended the Polytechnic University of Madrid, Spain, where he pursued graduation in computer engineering. From 1995 to 2000, he attended the University of Navarra, Spain, where he pursued a master’s degree in Automatic Engineering & Industrial Electronics. He earned the Premios Nacionales de Fin de Carrera de Educación Universitaria (National End-of-Career Awards for University Education). In 2001, he was selected to participate in a one-year entrepreneurial program EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation in Vulcanus in Japan. With the Rafael del Pino Excellence Scholarship, he pursued a Master of Business Administration at Stanford University, US, from 2005 to 2007. As a recipient of the Henry Crown Fellowship from 2014 to 2016, he attended a two-year program at The Aspen Institute, Washington, District of Columbia. As of 2020, he lives with his family in Palo Alto, California. Javier Olivan- LinkedIn
Parents & Siblings
Javier Oliván’s father’s name is Florian. His mother, María Pilar, is a retired teacher who taught in IES Biello Aragón, a public institute in Sabiñánigo. He has a younger sister.
Wife & Children
Olivan left Spain to pursue his dream of being an engineer. In Europe, the best place to realize his goal was Germany. He started his career in December 2000 as an R&D Engineer at Siemens in Munich Area, Germany. He joined Siemens because he was fascinated by the disruption of mobile communication. Thereafter, he moved to Tokyo, where he worked in the research and development department of the IT services provider company NTT Data from September 2001 to August 2002. At NTT Data, he worked towards developing software that enabled high-quality mobile video transmission. In March 2003, he rejoined Siemens as Advanced Procurement Engineer. After a year, he was promoted to Product Manager. At Siemens, he lead a cross-functional team tasked with the development and market launch of handset devices. In May 2006, he became a Business Development Consultant for Fon Wireless, where he worked for three months. From July 2006 to September 2006, he worked as a Summer Associate at Scale VP. On 17 October 2007, he assumed the position of Head of International Growth at Meta (then known as Facebook, Inc). He was promoted to Vice President Of Growth in November 2011 and VP of Central Products in May 2018. As VP of Growth, he was responsible for Facebook’s international efforts, setting the strategy, and scaling up Facebook’s membership base. In January 2022, he became the Chief Growth Officer & VP of Cross-Meta Products and Infrastructure at Meta. Thereafter, he oversaw user adoption, product analytics, internationalization efforts, UX research, data science, and content strategy for the company’s central products like Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Whatsapp. Along with his team, he focused on remaking Facebook for tier-2 and tier-3 markets translating the Facebook service into 100+ languages and ensuring that Facebook worked on slower and basic smartphones and slower via the “lite” versions of the apps. For six years, starting from December 2012, he was a board member of the e-commerce technology company Mercado Libre. In June 2022, after Sheryl Sandberg, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Meta announced her resignation, it was announced Javier Olivan would take over her position.
- On 14 February 2020, he joined the Endeavor Global Board of Directors. Endeavour is a nonprofit organization, which leads the global movement to drive long-term economic growth by selecting, mentoring and accelerating the best high-impact entrepreneurs around the world.
- He can speak five different languages, Spanish, English, German, French, and Japanese.
- He later worked on Internet.org, an effort launched in 2013 by Facebook and other companies to connect people to internet services in less developed countries. However, it attracted criticism as Facebook was the internet gatekeeper for those who signed up for it.
- At Stanford, Olivan was creating a Spanish-language version of Facebook with his friends called Nosuni when Mark Zuckerberg approached him with a chance to join Facebook to lead international growth in 2007.
- He enjoys paragliding and surfing.
- He is often spotted consuming alcoholic beverages.