Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg testified before Congress today at a hearing about online disinformation on the massive social media platform and the role it may have played in influencing U.S. elections. She, along with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, answered pointed questions about what both companies were doing to limit or stop attempts by foreign actors to interfere with the American political process.
The high-profile performance was just the latest starring role for the 49-year-old Sandberg, who’s become one of the most prominent women in the tech industry since joining Facebook in 2008. She’s also one of the richest.
Sheryl Sandberg is worth $1.6 billion
Sandberg has been richly rewarded for working for Facebook (and before that, Google). Forbes pegs her net worth at $1.6 billion. She’s number 12 on the magazine’s list of self-made women for 2018, with her wealth mostly coming from the millions of shares of Facebook stock she owns.
Sandberg was born in Washington, D.C., and earned both her bachelor’s degree and MBA from Harvard, according to Biography. She started her career in a far less glamorous field than tech. After earning her graduate degree, she worked for the Treasury Department during the Clinton administration. But when George W. Bush took office, she headed west to California, landing a job at Google.
She worked at Google for several years, where she was instrumental in developing the search engine’s online advertising programs. By 2008, she’d accepted a role as Facebook’s COO, a position she’s held ever since.
She earns more than $25 million a year
Facebook, like other publicly traded companies, must make the salaries of its top executives public. Sandberg earned a salary of $795,769 in 2017, along with a bonus of $640,378. The bulk of her compensation came from a restricted stock award worth about $21 million. She also received $2.7 million in other compensation.
Sandberg is also the author of Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, which has sold more than 1 million copies since it was released in 2013. Her second book, Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy, discusses facing adversity and was written after her husband Dave Goldberg died unexpectedly while on vacation in Mexico.
Her charitable giving
While Sandberg is worth more than $1 billion, she has given away a significant chunk of her wealth. In 2017, she donated roughly $100 million of Facebook stock to a fund she established for charitable giving – the Sheryl Sandberg & David Goldberg Family Fund. She gave $31 million of Facebook stock to the fund in 2016. The fund supports LeanIn.org and OptionB.org, two nonprofits established by Sandberg, as well as the David Goldberg Scholarship Program. Sandberg is also on the board of directors of Women for Women International, a nonprofit that helps marginalized women in countries affected by conflict war.
Overcoming personal struggles
In Lean In, Sandberg chronicled the tricky business of balancing a demanding career with family life. That balancing act only became harder after her husband passed away. Sandberg and Goldberg had two children, and she struggled when she returned to work shortly after his death, as she recounted to Wired. But she says she emerged from her crisis stronger than ever.
“I am a bigger-picture manager because I’ve lived through something that’s a big picture,” she told the magazine. “I can move on much faster.”
Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!