Facebook Finds New No. 2 for Mark Zuckerberg

Sheryl Sandberg Moves Over From Google for COO Role

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Facebook has appointed a No. 2 for 24-year-old CEO Mark Zuckerberg in Sheryl Sandberg, a Google veteran who most recently served as VP-global sales and operations.
Sheryl Sandberg
Sheryl Sandberg

Ms. Sandberg was hired on as Facebook's chief operating officer, a title most recently held by Owen Van Natta before he became chief revenue officer. Facebook last month said Mr. Van Natta is leaving the social-networking site.

Ms. Sandberg comes with an impressive resume. At Google since 2001, she was integral in building and managing the search giant's online sales channels, which include its AdWords search-advertising product and its AdSense contextual network. Before joining Google she was in President Bill Clinton's administration as chief of staff to the U.S. Treasury Secretary.

All about scale
At Facebook, she will surely be called on to help figure out how to monetize its massive user base -- the social-networking site's unique visitors grew almost 80% year over year to a total of 33.9 million unique visitors in January, according to ComScore. However, that was slightly down from December's 34.7 million uniques. What's more, she will be responsible for creating an ad solution that has scale -- the beauty of the systems she launched at Google.

Both she and Mr. Zuckerberg addressed the scale concept in a statement announcing her hire. "She has relevant experience and a track record of scaling business operations and building new kinds of advertising networks," Mr. Zuckerberg said. Added Ms. Sandberg: "Together, with Mark and the great team at Facebook, we'll be able to scale this company into a global leader and enable Facebook users worldwide to communicate and share information better.

The news was first reported by Kara Swisher on AllThingsD.com, where Mr. Zuckerberg told her he met Ms. Sandberg at a Christmas party and got to know her better in Davos, Switzerland, where they were both attending January's World Economic Forum. Mr. Zuckerberg also said it would be nice if this hire led to more cooperation between Facebook and Google -- an interesting statement from a guy who took $240 million from Google's mortal enemy, Microsoft, last year in exchange for a 1.6% stake in the company.
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