Facebook plucks new COO from Google's sales ranks
The Palo Alto, Calif.-based start-up hires veteran googler Sheryl Sandberg to replace outgoing Chief Operating Officer Owen Van Natta.
Facebook announced on Tuesday that it has hired a new chief operating officer to replace. Starting on March 24, veteran Google employee Sheryl Sandberg will take on the executive role at the social network.
For six years, Sandberg was vice president of global sales and operations at Google, where she helped to grow the company's AdWords and AdSense products, as well as its Google.org nonprofit division.
As part of her new job, according to a statement from the social-networking company, she will "be responsible for helping Facebook scale its operations and expand its presence globally," as well as "manage sales, marketing, business development, human resources, public policy, privacy, and communications."
Sandberg is also an alumna of both Harvard University's undergraduate college and Harvard Business School; Facebookat the elite Cambridge, Mass., institution.
Hiring an experienced Silicon Valley executive is no surprise on Facebook's part.has yet to reach his 24th birthday, and the fast-growing company has run into some rocky patches over projects like and members' ability to .
Some critics have suggested that in order for the company to stay on top of Silicon Valley, it would need.
Additionally, Sandberg's experience in building the Internet's most successful digital-advertising giant will be a valuable asset to Facebook, which is in the process ofthat can boost the company's profits.
Social-media advertising's less-than-stellar reputation was solidified when Google co-founder Sergey Brin said the search giant's contract with News Corp.'s MySpace.com, Facebook's chief rival, had.
By pulling in a Google advertising veteran, Facebook likely hopes to bring new levels of legitimacy to, boosting advertiser confidence and eventually profit margins.
"Sheryl is a great manager who will help scale Facebook's operations globally," Zuckerberg, to whom Sandberg will report, said in a statement. "She has relevant experience and a track record of scaling business operations and building new kinds of advertising networks. Sheryl understands Facebook's goal of connecting everyone in the world and is passionate about building a business that will enable us to realize this mission."
Sandberg, 38, is by no means the first. The company's chief financial officer is , and former Google Checkout czar .
Sandberg and Zuckerberg, according to an article in The New York Times, met at a Christmas party last December. Negotiations between the two reportedly began with the help of venture capitalist Roger McNamee of Elevation Partners.
Sandberg had joined Google prior to the company's initial public offering, and before that was chief of staff for former Harvard President Lawrence H. Summers when he was secretary of the treasury in former U.S. President Bill Clinton's administration.