Sheryl Sandberg is a new billionaire as Facebook shares hit new high

 

The ranks of the world’s most exclusive club were swollen by one new member yesterday as Facebook’s second in command Sheryl Sandberg was hailed as a paper billionaire.

With 12.3m personal shares in the social networking phenomenon which she helped propel to its first profits after being lured from rival Google by founder Mark Zuckerberg six years ago, the 44-year-old mother of two will be updating her financial status courtesy of the tripling in the company’s stock market value, according to an estimate by the Bloomberg Billionaire Index.

After initially slumping in the wake of its public offering, Facebook shares closed this week at a record $58.51 (£35.33). Ms Sandberg, already arguably the most powerful woman in Silicon Valley is now one of the youngest female billionaires on the planet and will this week be mingling with fellow denizens of the global super-elite at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Facebook declined to comment on its chief operating officer’s net worth which has been routinely estimated at around the billion dollar mark for some time by media profilers extolling the achievements of her stellar career. Facebook’s recent stock market performance – fuelled by her success securing vast revenues from mobile advertising - appears to confirm what many had long been seen as inevitable.

Ms Sandberg, who also sits on the boards of Starbucks and Walt Disney, is reported to have already amassed a fortune in excess of $300m (£180m) after selling Facebook shares following the 2012 public offering. Her residual stake is now valued at $750m (£452m).

Last year her wealth was boosted by a $26.2m (£16m) remuneration package, $25.6m of which was in stock awards - a slight decline on the $31m (£19m) she received the previous year which have made her the highest paid executive at Facebook for two years running.

According to Forbes, there were 1,426 billionaires in the world in 2013 commanding between them an aggregate net worth of $5.6 trillion (£3.4trillion).

Last year’s list included 210 individuals with the requisite 10 figure fortune. The roll call included just 138 women, the wealthiest of whom was 90-year-old L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt who is reportedly worth $30bn (£18bn) making her the ninth richest person.

Ms Sandberg’s boss Mr Zuckerberg, 29, recently sold more than $2bn (£1.2bn) in stock and donated another $1bn to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation which provides grants to combat inequalities in the San Francisco Bay area.  

David Kirkpatrick, author of The Facebook Effect, which chronicles the history of the company, said Ms Sandberg had been the right person in the right place at the right time.

“She went to Google, moved on to go to Facebook, went to write a book, and she’ll know when to run for political office, and probably win that office,” he said.

Her bestselling Lean In, published last year, was as a manifesto to help women crack glass ceilings in traditionally male-dominated domains of big business and high power by the simple power of self-assertion. It argues: “A truly equal world would be one where women ran half our countries and companies and men ran half our homes.”

Born into a highly educated Jewish family she moved seamlessly in the 1990s from Harvard to management consultancy McKinsey, then the World Bank and finally the US Treasury where she was chief of staff for her mentor Lawrence Summers during the Clinton administration.

She quit Washington following the Republican victory in 2000 moving to California to pursue a career in the burgeoning tech sector. She remains a supporter of President Obama and is married to entrepreneur Dave Goldberg.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

Day In a Page

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate