Sheryl Sandberg: Power List 2012

Sheryl Sandberg's year was dominated by speculation around, and then the lead-up to, Facebook's high-profile and subsequent controversial IPO launch on the NASDAQ in May.

COO, Facebook
Sheryl Sandberg's year was dominated by speculation around, and then the lead-up to, Facebook's high-profile and subsequent controversial IPO launch on the NASDAQ in May.

COO since 2008, Sandberg crossed the divide from Google to become the communications power behind Mark Zuckerberg's throne, the person who has kept the social networking behemoth's wheels on the road in a male-dominated environment while Zuckerberg concentrates on product development and innovation.

A passionate advocate for women in business and the need to retain a work-life balance, Sandberg can look forward to becoming a billionaire if her share options mature as planned. And no one can say she won't deserve it if this scenario pans out, given her pivotal role in transforming the site from a busy social network with no discernible revenue stream into a Web behemoth with 900 million users that now turns a regular profit.

Communications played a key part in that transformation, as Sandberg got everyone within Facebook to buy into the vision and then went out to the wider world and convinced skeptics there was a genuine business model behind the media hype.

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