Facebook: Internet mega-site, business leader, media innovator, and pop culture phenomena. Since it’s debut in 2004, the site has faced a rollercoaster ride of traumatic gains and losses. From it’s suedo-biographical movie of founder Mark Zuckerberg’s rise to fame, to last year’s abysmal stock performance, Facebook has seen it’s fair share of troubles, but a silver lining emerged late last year in the form of COO Sheryl Sandberg’s first book, Lean In. Since then she’s kept busy with book tours, a partner website, and otherwise at the masthead of Facebook.
Since it’s debut, Sandberg has become more than a household name. “In the past, [Sandberg] would come up an hour into a dinner; now [she’s] discussed during the appetizers,” said Joe Lockhart, a former White House press secretary under Bill Clinton and a former communications executive at Facebook for more than a year.
Since becoming COO she has managed to produce extraordinary sales revenue.
Her role in the company, and to CEO Zuckerberg is uncatigorical, in that it’s clear where Sandberg stands. “She runs the business,” says Dan Rose, one of Facebook’s earliest executives and Sandberg’s deputies, in charge of partnerships. This has created a decidedly preferred relationship between CEO and COO. While Sandberg excels on the business-side of the company, Zuckerberg can focus his time towards to what he truly loves as product engineer.
When she isn’t leading business meetings or promoting the sales force, she’s meeting with diplomatic people of interest including Oprah, Bono, Hilary Clinton, and many business leaders to boot! Her character has won the hearts of many and her leadership has earned her the number 5 position in the most influential women in business by CNN.
“I like dealing with Sheryl because I trust her enormously,” says John Donahoe, CEO of eBay. In the past year alone, she’s increased Facebook’s mobile ad revenue by 140%, to make up 41% of the company’s 1.6 billion dollar ad revenue from this quarter.
Her work ethic has not only projected her to celebrity status among the general public, but a virtual rock star to techies and business managers alike. “Her name has become a job title,” Marc Andreessen, a Facebook board member and co-founder of the venture capital powerhouse Andreessen Horowitz says. “Every company we work with wants ‘a Sheryl; I keep explaining to people that we haven’t yet figured out how to clone her.”
When she isn’t focusing her time on Facebook, she’s developing a partner website to her book called LeanIn.org. In it, she shifts the light from her success to other women who are pursuing ambitious changes in their lives in and out of work. The site recently introduced a support-style “Lean In Circle” for women to collectively feel empowered to, “change the conversation from what we can’t do to what we can do.”
While’s it’s not likely she’ll ever become #1 in the company, Sandberg is content on focusing her time and energy into developing Facebook further in the coming years. Beyond that is a virtual guessing game, but one can assume she’ll continue to move mountains in the business world, and encourage women everywhere to never lose sight of their aspirations.
This post was inspired by this post from CNN Money, which is from the soon to be published article (Oct. 28, 2013) in Fortune Magazine. All quotes and factual information was sampled from this site.
What do you think of Sheryl Sandberg? Leave a comment telling us what your thoughts are.