Facebook adds first woman to board

Facebook's No.2 executive, Sheryl Sandberg, has become the first woman on the social-networking company's board of directors.

Sandberg was lured from Google in 2008 to become Facebook's chief operating officer. Besides being the first woman, she is the first executive other than founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg on the board.

People had called for the company to add women to its board ahead of its initial public offering of stock in mid-May.

In announcing the move on Monday, Facebook Inc didn't say whether that came in response to calls to add women. But as the No.2 to Zuckerberg, she is a logical choice.

"Sheryl has been my partner in running Facebook and has been central to our growth and success over the years," 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 has been largely responsible for building Facebook's advertising business. She's also often serves as Facebook's public face, appearing at conferences and important meetings, while Zuckerberg often prefers to stay in the background and focus on Facebook's products.

Sandberg's appointment is somewhat symbolic.

She is already a highly influential executive at Facebook that's unlikely to change with her board appointment. That said, Zuckerberg still controls Facebook and its board through more than half of its voting stock, which also won't change with Sandberg's appointment.

Sandberg, 42, joins Zuckerberg, Netflix chief Reed Hastings and entrepreneurs Marc Andreessen, James Breyer and Peter Thiel. Also on the board are Donald Graham, CEO of The Washington Post Co., and Erskine Bowles, president emeritus of the University of North Carolina system.

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