Wednesday, February 8, 2012

134: The Self-Empowered Woman Sheryl Sandberg

Dear Followers,

Today's profile is of a 42 year old, Harvard-educated executive who is expected to become - probably next month - one of the richest women in America. Sheryl Sandberg grew up in Florida, where she was "always at the top of her class" (10: The Critic Within). Her aerobic students (she taught when she was in high school) would probably be astounded that the teenage girl in Spandex grew up to become a $ 1.6 Billion Woman.

While at Harvard, she kept an extremely low profile and later admitted that she "really fooled" her male classmates during seminars because she "did not speak or raise her hand, but went on to join Phi Beta Kappa, and win the honor of being "Top Graduating Student in Economics" (13: More Than Meets the Eye). Perhaps the best bonus was winning the support of Larry Summers, who was her professor (and later her mentor) at both The World Bank and the U.S. Treasury Department (4: Supportive Someone).

She earned her MBA - with highest distinction - and landed high-profile jobs in New York. But when she accepted Mark Zuckerberg's offer to become Facebook's COO, it was the "alignment" of a great talent complete with social skills, ambition, and smarts (who enjoys tackling the problems that her boss wants to avoid), joined with one of the free-thinking founding fathers of social media.

Sandberg is admired for her ability to keep Facebook running smoothly, as well as her motivation to promote women whenever possible. According to The New York Times, it has become Ms. Sandberg's "cause" (7: Magnificent Obsession). She also serves on the boards of Disney, Starbucks and Women for Women International.

Sandberg's first marriage ended in divorce, and in 2004, she married David Goldberg (CEO of SurveyMonkey); they have two young children. She and her husband are building a large, modern home (rumored to be over 9,200 square feet), and sure to be one of the largest houses in Menlo Park (Silicon Valley). Whether other residents like the idea of a "trophy house" in their neighborhood is of little concern to Sandberg (5: Life is Not a Popularity Contest).

Sandberg's honors include:

  • 50 "Most Powerful Women in Business," Fortune magazine 2007 - to the present

  • 50 "Women to Watch," The Wall Street Journal

  • No 5 "World's 100 Most Powerful Women," Forbes

  • 25 "Most Influential People on the Web," Business Week

Her name is bound to be all over the media in the near future because many believe that she will rank "among the richest self-made women in America,"; wealthier than Meg Whitman ($1.3 billion), but not as rich as Oprah ($2.7 billion).

Looking forward to your comments...

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