Sheryl Sandberg (b. August 28, 1969)
Sandberg, who joined the company in 2008, is responsible for managing Facebook’s sales, marketing, business development, human resources and communications. Yet her biggest professional challenge requires all of the skills that she learned in her previous job as Vice President of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google—as well as a lot of creativity: Sandberg is responsible for finding a way to make a profit off of the personal likes, dislikes and other information available to Facebook from its 750 million users—without making these people, who represent 11% of the world’s population, feel as if their privacy has been invaded.
Clearly she has figured out a way to do this, as the social networking site continues to get more users and become more profitable. Her success has been recognized and since 2008 she has been ranked as one of the 50 “Most Powerful Women in Business” by Fortune magazine. And in 2012, she became the first woman to sit on Facebook’s board of directors.
Sandberg, who graduated from Harvard in 1991 with a B.A. in economics and 1995 with an M.B.A., lives in Atherton, California. In 2011, when speaking to the graduating class of Barnard College, she shared a major secret of her success: “The one thing I’ve learned working with great entrepreneurs—Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook, Larry Page and Sergey Brin at Google—that if you want to make a difference, you better think big and dream big, right from day one,” she said, adding, “…Fortune does favor the bold, and I promise that you will never know what you’re capable of unless you try.”