Facebook is getting some female force on-board, quite literally. They have promoted their COO Sheryl Sandberg to a board member. She is the 8th member of the board of directors of Facebook and the first female ever to have held such an esteemed position in the company.
Sandberg has been pretty vocal about the lack of female presence in the top echelons of the Silicon Valley giants and is known as a strong advocate of women rights. Only last week it was her intervention that helped resolve a potential PR disaster for facebook when a female harassment case was made public by the wall street journal. Facebook has been taking the heat for an all-male board and a low representation of women in their higher management. With this announcement, they aim to curb the criticism as well as use the experience that Sandberg brings in.
Sandberg met Mark Zuckerberg at a Christmas party in 2007 and by the first quarter of 2008 she left Google to work as a COO at Facebook. She manages some key operations at the company, including sales, marketing, business development, human resource, public policy and communication. Her main focus has been to turn Facebook into a highly profitable enterprise and with $3.7 billion in revenue last year, she has certainly achieved the goal. She also played a vital role in the IPO of Facebook this May. Zuckerberg complimented her contributions saying that
[quote]“Sheryl has been my partner in running Facebook and has been central to our growth and success over the years. Her understanding of our mission and long-term opportunity, and her experience both at Facebook and on public company boards makes her a natural fit for our board.”[/quote]
Among other things, Sandberg is a board member of Walt Disney co and several other non-profit organisations. Google.org is considered to be her brainchild. She has also worked as the chief of staff to the Treasury secretary, Lawrence Summers, during the Clinton administration.