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Sun May 24 21:11:51 SAST 2015

Facebook board updates its status

Reuters | 27 June, 2012 00:04
Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg delivers a keynote address at Facebook's "fMC" global event for marketers in New York City in this February 29, 2012 file photo. Facebook Inc named Chief Operating Officer Sandberg a director on June 25, 2012 elevating the first woman to a board that includes seven men.
Image by: MIKE SEGAR / REUTERS

FACEBOOK named COO Sheryl Sandberg a director - the first woman on a board that includes seven men.

For years a vocal critic of the gender imbalance in Silicon Valley's executive ranks, Sandberg, 42, joined Facebook in 2008 and played a central role in guiding it to its $16-billion IPO last month.

Her promotion comes as Facebook seeks to cultivate a more mature image as opposed to the college dorm-room start-up reputation that has dogged the company since Harvard dropout Mark Zuckerberg founded it in 2004.

"Sheryl has been my partner in running Facebook and has been central to our growth and success over the years," Zuckerberg, 28, said.

"Her understanding of our mission and long-term opportunity, and her experience both at Facebook and on public company boards, makes her a natural fit for our board."

Still, even after Facebook elevated Sandberg on Monday, the composition of its board remains a continuing point of scrutiny for a young company that has touched countless industries and boasts close to a billion users.

The California State Teachers' Retirement System, which owns 36922 shares of Facebook, applauded Sandberg's promotion, but urged the company to "continue diversifying the board to greater independence and representation of the company's user base."

The company's board has seven white men, largely Silicon Valley insiders aligned closely with Zuckerberg.

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