Beyond being talented, other qualities that make the way to greatness and success include being intelligence, smartness, being organized; possessing fine economic skills and having a deep concern for others. All these and more are attributes of Facebook’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg.
She is an American technology executive, activist and author; one of the most influential women and phenomenal entrepreneurs in the world. Time named her in its 100 Most Influential List in 2012 and The Jerusalem Post in 2013, ranked her #8 on The World’s 50 Most Influential Jews.
Sheryl Sandberg Biography
On August 28, 1969, in Washington, D.C., Sheryl was born and given the name, Sheryl Kara Sandberg. She is the oldest of three children (Sheryl, Michelle and David) born to their parents. Her nationality is American and ethnicity is Ashkenazi Jewish.
Early Life and Education
When she was 2, her family moved to North Miami Beach, Florida where she attended North Miami Beach High School. She always topped her class while in high school and it was not surprising that she graduated ninth with a 4.646-grade point average. Sheryl had quite a portfolio while in high school which includes:
- Sophomore class president
- A member of the National Honor Society
- A member of the senior class executive board
- An aerobic instructor
She enrolled at Harvard College in 1987 where she graduated summa cum laude Phi Beta Kappa with a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1991. As has become common with her, she graduated top in her class and was awarded the John H. Williams Prize for the top graduating student in economics.
While at Harvard, she co-founded an organization called Women in Economics and Government. She would later meet then-professor Larry Summers, who became her mentor and thesis adviser. She became Larry’s research assistant at the World Bank for almost one year and worked on health projects in India. The health combatants she dealt with include leprosy, AIDS and blindness.
Sheryl enrolled at Harvard Business School in 1993 and earned a fellowship within the first year. By 1995, she has earned her MBA with the highest distinction.
Sheryl Sandberg started out her career as a management consultant for McKinsey & Company. After that, she worked for Lawrence Summers, the United States Secretary of the Treasury, as the chief of staff during Bill Clinton’s administration from 1996 to 2001.
She would later work for Google as the vice president of global online sales and operations from November 2001. While in Google, she took care of the online sales of Google’s advertising and publishing products. The operation of Google’s consumer products and Google Book Search also felt her prowess.
During this period which spanned 7 years, she was involved in launching Google’s philanthropic arm, Google.org.
After Google, she joined Facebook in March 2008 following an unofficial meeting with the CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg at a Christmas party. She was given the position of chief operating officer (COO) of Facebook, a position which was not needed but which her stellar qualities and past results got her.
Before coming into the system, the company was more interested in building an impressive site. She, however, shifted the focus to making profits by making inputs and bringing ideas that raked in numerous profits.
She became the first woman to serve on Facebook’s board following her election as the 8th member by the existing board members in June 2012.
Other Leadership Positions
Her leadership roles are not limited to Facebook. The phenomenal woman is on the board of directors for companies such as the Walt Disney Company and Starbucks Corp (2009 to 2012). She also serves on a number of nonprofit boards including Women for Women International, Centre for Global Development and V-Day.
Sheryl served as a director of eHealth, Inc. from 2006 to 2008, and as a director of SurveyMonkey since July 2015.
Books and Women Initiatives
The Facebook COO has always been interested in women, right from her college days where she co-founded the Women in Economics and Government. She is a strong advocate for increasing the number of women in the executive roles.
She encourages women to lean in and not hold back. To work hard, stick with what they like and never let go while reminding them that they are awesome. Sheryl Sandberg is viewed as an inspiration for women who want to create a successful balance between the demands of being a mother and working a high-powered career.
She published a book, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, and in 2013, founded Leanin.org (also known as the Lean In Foundation). The foundation is dedicated to offering women the ongoing inspiration and support to help them achieve their goals. In 2014, she sponsored the controversial ‘Ban Bossy’ campaign.
Her second book which she co-authored with psychologist and friend, Adam Grant was released in April 2017. The book is titled, Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy. The book is on grief where she revealed the heartbreaking moment when she found her husband dead in a hotel gym and the agony of the times that followed.
Sheryl Sandberg’s Family, Husband, Children
The Jewish family of Adele (née Einhorn), a college French language teacher and Joel Sandberg, an ophthalmologist was where Sheryl was born into.
Her parents were active participants in the battle for the right of Jews to emigrate from the Soviet Union to Isreal. The couple took their children to demonstrations for Jewish rights. Her father is one of a number of activists in the American Jewish community who fought the battle for the right of Soviet Jews to emigrate.
Sheryl married her first husband, Brian Kraff in 1993 at age 24 but divorced a year later in 1994. Brian is the founder of Market Hardware, Inc and also known as the founder and Chief Executive Officer of eStudentLoan.com.
Ten years after her divorce, she went the matrimonial way again when she married Dave Goldberg in 2004. Dave was an executive with Yahoo! at the time of their marriage but later became the CEO of SurveyMonkey.
A most unfortunate thing happened on May 1, 2015, while the duo was vacationing in Mexico. That was the day her loving husband died. His death was attributed to a head injury sustained, falling from a treadmill but was later discovered to be due to a cardiac arrhythmia.
She said that though things will never be the same, the world is better for the years he lived. She described their union as 11 joyful years of deepest love, happiest marriage and truest partnership that she could imagine.
Sheryl reminisced about the experiences she had in her marriage. She said she was deeply understood, truly supported, completely and utterly loved. What a great man her husband was.
The couple has two amazing children, a son (born in 2005) and a daughter (born in 2007). She lives in Menlo Park, California.
Sheryl Sandberg’s Salary, Net Worth
Sheryl holds stocks in Facebook and other notable companies and has amassed a net worth that is over $1 billion. As a board member of Starbucks, her annual salary was $280,000.
As of 2017, she was worth $1.58 billion and ranked seventh on the Forbes Power Women list and 14th on the Forbes America’s Self-Made Women list. Her net worth is increasing and as of January 2018, it was at $1.61 billion.