Facebook, Inc. (FB: Quote) said Monday that Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg has joined the company's board of directors. Sandberg thus becomes the first woman to join the social networking site's board that currently includes seven men. Facebook had come under heavy criticism for a lack of diversity on its board.
Sandberg, aged 42, oversees Facebook's business operations including sales, marketing, business development, legal, human resources, public policy and communications.
Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook said, "Sheryl has been my partner in running Facebook and has been central to our growth and success over the years. 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."
Prior to joining Facebook, Sandberg served as vice president of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google Inc. (GOOG), where she built and managed the online sales channels for advertising and publishing and operations for consumer products worldwide.
Prior to that, Sandberg served as Chief of Staff for the U.S. Treasury Department under President Bill Clinton and began her career as an economist with the World Bank.
Sandberg also currently serves on the boards of The Walt Disney Co. (DIS), Women for Women International, the Center for Global Development and V-Day.
Facebook's other board members are Mark Zuckerberg, Marc Andreessen, Erskine Bowles, James Breyer, Donald Graham, Reed Hastings and Peter Thiel.
Facebook had come under heavy criticism for a lack of woman directors on its board. The California State Teachers' Retirement System or CalSTRS had in February urged Facebook to strengthen its corporate structure and increase the diversity of its board. CalSTRS owns 36,922 shares of Facebook.
In a statement at that time, CalSTRS said that Facebook could increase the diversity of its all-male board to be more reflective of that company's user demographics, equalize the voting power of shares to be representative of investors' economic interests, and separate the roles of CEO and chair of the board of directors.
Jack Ehnes, Chief Executive Officer of CalSTRS said, "Given that Facebook embraces an innovative business culture and a diverse user base, nearly 60-percent female, it seems paradoxical that it should adopt such a centralized, old business governance structure. This type of governance structure is definitely not conducive to 'friending' new shareholders."
FB closed Monday's trading at $32.06, down $0.99 or 3.00 percent on a volume of 24.35 million shares.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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