the $1.6 billion woman
I first have to thank you so so SO much for welcoming me back into the blogging world and being so wonderfully sweet and supportive! I’ve missed you!
I wanted to share an article I read in the New York Times this morning.
Here’s an excerpt of the parts that resonated most with me…
The $1.6 Billion Woman, Staying on Message
Seventy-two hours before Facebook’s big moment, Sheryl K. Sandberg was half a world away, hobnobbing with the likes of Bill Gates and the Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Yes, Ms. Sandberg is Mark Zuckerberg’s No. 2. And, yes, if all goes well, she will soon become the $1.6 billion woman. On Wednesday, Facebook filed to go public in a deal that, in all likelihood, will instantly make it one of the most valuable corporations on the planet.
But Ms. Sandberg, who has helped steer this social network to this once-unimaginable height, had more on her mind than securities filings and ad metrics. She was attending the annual World Economic Forum, in Davos, Switzerland, where her subject wasn’t Facebook — but women. Specifically, how women, in her view, must take responsibility for their careers and not blame men for holding them back.
Given that Ms. Sandberg is Facebook’s chief operating officer, and that all of Wall Street was hanging on last week’s news, you might think that she was absurdly off-topic. But Ms. Sandberg sees herself as more than an executive at one of the hottest companies around — more, too, than someone who will soon rank among the few self-made billionaires who are women. She sees herself as a role model for women in business and technology. In speeches, she often urges women to “keep your foot on the gas pedal,” and to aim high.
If Silicon Valley men bond in venture capital conference rooms or on weekend bike trips, Ms. Sandberg has been building an alternate networking group of Silicon Valley women. For about seven years, since she was a Google executive, she has held catered monthly dinner parties at her home for a group of several dozen women. Guest speakers have included the feminist and author Gloria Steinem; Steve Ballmer, the C.E.O. of Microsoft; and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York, according to three people who have attended the dinners but spoke on condition that they not be identified out of respect for Ms. Sandberg’s privacy. Ms. Sandberg recently invited Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri to attend as a speaker.
“I expected to see a lot of women in St. John suits and expensive purses and was pleasantly surprised when it was anything but that,” Senator McCaskill said. “Women had been included that were in the infancy of their careers, her kids were running around, it was very low key. It was clear that she’s the kind of role model that young women are looking for, especially in the tech sector.”
For all her roles and titles, Ms. Sandberg is about to add one more: billionaire. According to Facebook’s filing last week, Ms. Sandberg made nearly $31 million last year, including base salary, bonus and $30.5 million in stock awards. She owns 1.9 million shares in the company and an additional 39 million in restricted stock options. If Facebook goes public at a valuation of $100 billion — which Wall Street sees as a possibility — her stake could be worth as much as $1.6 billion. She would rank among the richest self-made women in America, above Meg Whitman ($1.3 billion), but below Oprah ($2.7 billion), according to Forbes.
What really inspired me were her monthly dinner parties at her home for her networking group, featuring different guest speakers each time. I thought this was such a neat idea – and I can’t wait until my apartment can accomodate more than three people at once so I can host dinner parties of my own! It also might require that I buy a dining room table…and some food. I still don’t have a single ounce of food in my apartment. That’s one of my goals for the week. Go. To. Grocery. Store.
Apartment post coming soon!
In the meantime, happy super bowl! Go Tom Brady!