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Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg has joined the company’s board of directors, adding a little diversity to the social network’s power pool. Sandberg has been overseeing Facebook’s business operations, including sales, marketing, business development, legal, human resources, and communications since joining the company in 2008.
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“Sheryl has been my partner in running Facebook and has been central to our growth and success over the years,” chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement. “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.”
Sandberg is the first female director of the company. The California State Teachers’ Retirement System, which manages $145 billion, had asked the social network in February to add a woman to its board, and advocacy group Face It Campaign also ran a similar campaign.
Before joining Facebook, Sandberg was vice president of global online sales and operations at Google (NASDAQ:GOOG). Before that, she served as chief of staff for the U.S. Treasury Department under President Bill Clinton. She began her career as an economist with the World Bank. She is also on the board of Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS).
Only 11.3 percent of the Fortune 500 had male-only boards last year, according to nonprofit organization Catalyst.
Facebook went public on May 18 and its stock price is now slowly recovering after having dropped almost 30 percent in the weeks after its public trading debut. Laura Martin, an analyst at Needham & Co, told Bloomberg that the company, a majority of whose users are women, will benefit from Sandberg’s promotion to the board. “This is a great move for Facebook,” she said. “Academic research shows that the greater the diversity on a board, the higher the returns to shareholders are.”
Shares of Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) closed higher 3.24% at $33.10 per share Tuesday.
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