Sheryl Sandberg is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) for Facebook. Having previously worked for the Treasury Department and Google, she is one of the most recognisable faces of the social media boom. A huge advocate of women in business and championing equality in the workplace, Sandberg is a best-selling author and has been recognised by Time magazine as one of the Top 100 most influential people in the world. Here, we take a look at her life.
Born in 1969 in Washington DC, Sheryl Sandberg’s Father was an Opthalmologist and her Mother was a Teacher. Aged just two years old, she moved to Miami, Florida, and quickly discovered that her passion lay in education, rather than simply sunning herself on a beach! The young Sandberg excelled at school, graduating from famous University, Harvard, with honours in 1991, and receiving her Masters in 1993.
Sandberg went on to become the Chief of Staff for the Treasury Department under Bill Clinton’s Presidency, where she discovered a love of technology and in particular the way that technology had begun to change people’s lives at that time. This led to a new global role at Google, during which time she actually married a Yahoo! executive, and the two gave birth to their first child in 2005.
It was at a chance meeting at a Christmas party that Sandberg first met Mark Zuckerberg, the co-Founder and CEO of Facebook. This led to her becoming the company’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), charged with making the social media site profitable. She certainly did that – in her first three years, Facebook grew to 800 million users, and achieved $2bn in annual revenue.
It was a hugely successful start to her career – and her life – but it would be beset by tragedy. In 2015 Sandberg’s husband, Dave Goldberg, the former Yahoo! executive she had married years before, died suddenly in a tragic accident. It was a difficult time, and Sandberg wrote on her husband’s Facebook wall: “I will always miss you Dave, there is no end to love.”
Sandberg bounced back from this loss to take even further strides in her career, and one of her other passions, which is championing female equality in the workplace. She became the first woman to join the Facebook board, and with the help of Beyonce, launched a campaign to ban the word ‘bossy’ so it could not be used to hold women down.
Sandberg remains an extremely prominent figure at Facebook and a hugely influential figure in the forwarding of women’s careers on a global basis. To find out how you can steer your pathway to the future, visit Your Life’s Future Finder.