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
  • Get to the point
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: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Senior SEO Executive

£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior SEO Executive is requi...

Recruitment Genius: Online Customer Service Administrator

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Online customer Service Admi...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Marketing Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global, industry leading, ...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk