Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook becomes a billionaire

Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, became a billionaire Monday after Facebook's stock price closed at a record high. Sandberg is the best-selling author of 'Lean In,' a manifesto for women in the corporate world. 

Laurent Gillieron/Keystone/AP/FIle
Sheryl Sandberg, speaks during a panel session at the 41st annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, WEF, in Davos, Switzerland in 2011. Facebook's chief operating officer became a billionaire this week thanks to an increase in Facebook stock prices.

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook executive and best-selling author, can now add another title to her resume: billionaire.

Facbook’s chief operating officer became a billionaire Monday after the social networking giant’s stock price closed at a record high $58.51 per share. Ms. Sandberg owns about 12.3 million shares of Facebook stock valued at approximately $750 million, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index, which tracks the net worth of the world’s wealthiest individuals.

That, plus the $300 million she’s made selling Facebook shares since the company’s IPO in 2012, makes her one of the youngest billionaires in the country at age 44. Her boss, Mark Zuckerberg, is worth around $12.4 billion.

The ‘billionaire’ distinction caps off a couple of big years for Sandberg, whose omnipresence as a cultural figure has risen right along with her wealth. In March 2013, the mother of two published “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead." A manifesto for women in the corporate world, “Lean In” thrust Sandberg center stage into the debate surrounding working women and balancing family and career. Among her most talked-about positions is the importance of a shared-earning/shared-parenting marriage, where both parents have equal responsibilities inside and outside the home.

While some criticized Sandberg for attempting to write about the obstacles facing all women from her position of relative privilege, the book, which was inspired by her popular TED Talk lecture on the same topic, sold over a million copies and put her in high demand as a public speaker. She is ranked fifth on Fortune’s list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business for 2013 and is on Time’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world.  

Before joining Facebook in 2008, Sandberg worked at Google for seven years, and as a chief of staff for former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers. She currently sits on the board of the Walt Disney company and Women for Women International, among other organizations, and is a major supporter of President Obama.

Despite her accomplishments, Sandberg is far from the youngest female billionaire in the US. That would be Lynsi Torres, the owner and president of the California-based burger chain In-N-Out, according to Forbes' most recent list. 

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