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Google’s Sandberg joins Facebook

05 марта 2008

Facebook, the fast-growing social network, has moved to shore up its management team by appointing Sheryl Sandberg, Google’s vice-president of online sales, as its chief operating officer.

The move comes as Facebook is under pressure to deliver revenues that can justify the $15bn valuation it drew in a recent investment round. It is further sign that Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s 23-year-old founder and chief executive, intends to remain at the helm as it attempts to establish itself as a leading internet company in the same league as bigger rivals such as Yahoo and Google.

Sheryl SandbergFacebook said Ms Sandberg, who joined Google in 2001 and was responsible for building the search group’s advertising sales, would report directly to Mr Zuckerberg in her new role as COO. She will be responsible for managing sales, marketing, business development, human resources and other business functions.

“Sheryl is a great manager who will help scale Facebook’s operations globally,” said Mr Zuckerberg in a statement. “She has relevant experience and a track record of scaling business operations and building new kinds of advertising networks.”

Ms Sandberg said she was “thrilled” at the opportunity. “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,” she said.

In spite of its soaring valuation, Facebook is thought to have notched just $150m in sales last year, mostly through display advertising. While that number is expected to grow significantly this year, Facebook has yet to stumble on a revenue model that allows it to take full advantage of the social connections between the millions of users who visit the site.

Facebook launched a handful of advertising technologies last year in an attempt to boost sales.

However, it later admitted to mistakes after a messaging service called Beacon, which sends messages when a Facebook user makes purchases on outside websites, was criticised for invading user privacy. The site currently boasts more than 66m users.

Ms Sandberg is the latest Google executive to join Facebook. Gideon Yu, former chief financial officer of YouTube, the online video side bought by Google in 2006 for $1.65bn, joined Facebook as CFO last year.

Источник: Financial Times

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