Business, Economics and Jobs

Sheryl Sandberg becomes the first woman appointed to Facebook's board


Sheryl Sandberg is the first woman to be appointed to Facebook's seven-man board of directors.


Spencer Platt

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's longtime Chief Operating Officer, has become the first woman director on the company's seven-man board, Bloomberg Businessweek reported Monday.

“Sheryl has been my partner in running Facebook and has been central to our growth and success over the years,” said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a statement, according to Business Insider. “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.”

Board members at Facebook are elected by the existing board or by shareholders, and in this case, Sandberg was elected by the other members, who include Donald Graham, chairman and CEO of The Washington Post Company; Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO; and venture capitalist Peter Thiel, TechCrunch reported.

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She will now have her own vote in all company matters, according to TechCrunch. 

Sandberg has been with Facebook since 2008 when the company lured her away from Google, the New York Times reported, and she has quickly become one of the most public faces of the company after Zuckerberg, making stops at major events such as the World Economic Forum and the annual Allen & Company media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. 

She was also ranked as the fifth most powerful woman in the world in 2011 by Forbes Magazine

“Facebook is working every day to make the world more open and connected,” Sandberg said in a statement, according to Business Insider. “It’s a mission that I’m deeply passionate about, and I feel fortunate to be part of a company that is having such a profound impact in the world.”

Women are a significant minority in the tech industry, Forbes points out: while women make up 48 percent of the American workforce, they hold only 24 percent of all science, engineering, technology, and math positions. 

Women, however, seem to be taking Sandberg's advice to "sit at the table": only 11.3 percent of the Fortune 500 had male-only boards as of 2011, according to Catalyst, a New York-based nonprofit organization that monitors women's progress in the business world. 

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