Sheryl Sandberg is Facebook's first female board member

Just a few weeks after Facebook's initial public offering, the company announced overnight that chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg has joined the social network's board of directors.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has been a leader in raising awareness of the struggles women in tech face.
(Credit: Facebook)

"Sheryl has been my partner in running Facebook, and has been central to our growth and success over the years," said Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook. "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."

Sheryl Sandberg is also the first woman to join the social network's board of directors. She joined the company in March 2008, hired away from Google where she was a top ad sales executive.

"Facebook is working every day to make the world more open and connected," Sandberg said in the company's announcement. "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."

The announcement comes after criticism that Facebook's board lacked women and minorities. Two months ago, the company was called out for the board demographic make-up by the Face It Campaign, and earlier this year the California State Teachers' Retirement System made the same complaint. Zuckerberg had told The New Yorker last July, when asked about why there were no women on the board, that he was focused on finding "helpful" people and not concerned with gender.

Facebook became a publicly traded company in May, a hugely anticipated event that was marred by a stock price that quickly headed downward.

Sandberg, who started her career as an economist with the World Bank and served as chief of staff for the US Treasury Department in the Clinton administration, also sits on the boards of Disney, Women for Women International, the Center for Global Development and V-Day.

Other Facebook board members are: CEO Mark Zuckerberg; Marc L Andreessen, Andreessen Horowitz; Erskine B Bowles, president emeritus, University of North Carolina system; James W Breyer, Accel Partners; Donald E Graham, chairman and CEO, The Washington Post Company; Reed Hastings, chairman and CEO, Netflix; and Peter A Thiel, Founders Fund.


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