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Page 3 Profile: Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook chief operating officer

Lean in. Something to say?

As ever. But it’s also the title of Sheryl Sandberg’s book. Ah yes, of course. Sandberg, penned the motivational manual for women in the workplace earlier this year. Success, you see, is about leaning in: sharp elbows, straight back and all that. As she puts it in perfectly crafted corp-speak: “No one gets to the corner office by  sitting at the side.”

We take it she has a corner office?

Undoubtedly. Since taking her job at Facebook in 2007, she has been a firm fixture on every “influential women” list worth its salt, and last year she featured in the Time 100, aka today’s Masters of the Universe. On Monday, it was revealed she’d offloaded 5 per cent of  her shares in Facebook - for a whopping £59m.

Aren’t Facebook shares good for nothing more than buffing your shoes?

Someone hasn’t been watching the markets. After plunging to £11.48 a share, they’ve crept back to the £25 mark at which they were released. Sandberg has been selling shares here and there since the company went public – and still has 25 million, or £646m-worth, tucked away.

She’ll probably blow it all on handbags and shoes…

Watch it. Sandberg is impressive by anyone’s standards. After attending state school, she gained the highest distinction possible in her MBA at Harvard Business School. She’s since held positions at the World Bank, the US Treasury under Bill Clinton and at Google. And then there’s Lean In, which has spent 21 weeks at the top of the New York Times Best Sellers List.

Any parting pearls of wisdom?

Sandberg leaves the office by 5.30pm every day. “Long-term  success at work often depends on not trying to meet every demand…” she says. “The best way to make room for both life and career is to make choices deliberately – to set limits and stick to them.”

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