Monday, July 04, 2011

Sheryl Sandberg: New Yorker Profile

(Via Change The Ratio)

The New Yorker: A Woman's Place: Sheryl Sandberg And Male-Dominated Silicon Valley
By February of 2008, Zuckerberg had concluded that Sandberg would be a perfect fit. “There are people who are really good managers, people who can manage a big organization,” he says. “And then there are people who are very analytic or focussed on strategy. Those two types don’t usually tend to be in the same person. I would put myself much more in the latter camp.” Zuckerberg offered her the job of chief operating officer......... Later, Sandberg would tell people that Facebook was a company driven by instinct and human relationships. The point, implicitly, was that Google was not. Sandberg seemed to have insulted some of her former colleagues. “She could have handled her departure more crisply,” a senior Google official says........ asking questions and listening. “She walked up to hundreds of people’s desks and interrupted them and said, ‘Hi, I’m Sheryl Sandberg,’ ...... Sandberg set up twice-a-week meetings with Zuckerberg, on Monday mornings and Friday afternoons. Today, her workstation, in a cavernous room, is a few feet away from his and the three other senior executives who share connected desks: Cox; Mike Schroepfer, the chief engineer; and Bret Taylor, the C.T.O. “She builds trust because she’s honest,” Cox says. “People can be intimidated by Mark. Sheryl just cuts right through that.” ....... Zuckerberg says he’s grateful that 
Image representing Sheryl Sandberg as depicted...Image via CrunchBaseSandberg “handles things I don’t want to,” such as advertising strategy, hiring and firing, management, and dealing with political issues........ Others thought that Zuckerberg, who was painfully shy, lacked the management skills necessary for success....... She convened regular meetings with senior executives from 6 to 9 P.M. “I go around the room and ask people, ‘What do you think?’ " .......... By 2010, a company that was bleeding cash when Sandberg arrived had become profitable. Within three years, Facebook grew from a hundred and thirty employees to twenty-five hundred, and from seventy million worldwide users to nearly seven hundred million....... Her mother, Adele, gave up studying for a Ph.D. and teaching college French in order to raise Sheryl and her two younger sibling ........ a rabbi at their synagogue ..... Their home became an unofficial headquarters for Soviet Jews wanting to escape anti-Semitism, and a temporary hotel for many who had finally won the right to emigrate. On weekends, Adele says, “we schlepped the kids to rallies........ The Sandberg children attended public school, and Sheryl was always at the top of her class. “In public schools, for a girl to be smart was not good for your social life,” Adele says. She describes her daughter as “a mother’s helper,” aiding David in tying his shoes and Michelle in taking a bath. The only time she ever rebelled, Adele recalls, was when she was in junior high school. “One day she came home from school and said, ‘Mom, we have a problem. You’re not ready to let me grow up.’ ” “I said, ‘You’re right.’ The minute she said it, I knew she was right.” ...... Lawrence Summers’s class in Public Sector Economics. She did not speak or raise her hand, but she received the highest midterm and final grades. Summers volunteered to serve as her thesis adviser, on how economic inequality contributes to spousal abuse, and he promoted a group called Women in Economics and Government that she co-founded. Nonetheless, Sandberg claims that she was not a feminist. The goal of the group, she says, was just “to get more women to major in government and economics.” Her management skills were impressive. “When most students start to organize things, things fall between the cracks,” Summers says. “When Sheryl hosted an economics-association reception, every nametag was right, the food was right, the schedule was right.” ....... Sandberg graduated first in the economics department. ....... women had internalized self-doubt as a form of self-defense: people don’t like women who boast about their achievements. ....... She blamed them more for their insecurities than she blamed men for their insensitivity or their sexism....... and was briefly married to a Washington businessman named Brian Kraff...... and Summers asked Sandberg to come to Washington to be his chief of staff. “Sheryl always believed that if there were thirty things on her to-do list at the beginning of the day, there would be thirty check marks at the end of the day,” Summers says. “If I was making a mistake, she told me. She was totally loyal, but totally in my face.” ...... David Fischer, who was her deputy at Treasury, and has worked for her at Google and now at Facebook ....... When Summers advanced to Treasury Secretary, in 1999, Sandberg became, at twenty-nine, his chief of staff. After the Democrats lost the 2000 election, she decided to move to Silicon Valley to join the technology boom. Google pursued her ..... She knew, though, that Google didn’t have a business plan. It was a private company, barely three years old, with no steady revenue stream. Eric Schmidt called her every week. “Don’t be an idiot,” he said. “This is a rocket ship. Get on it.” ...... Sandberg joined the company in late 2001. Her title was business-unit general manager, even though there was no business unit.......... In 2002, when AOL made Google its search engine, in return for which Google agreed to pay at least a hundred and fifty million dollars annually, Sandberg helped oversee the arrangement. Given that Google had only ten million dollars in the bank, the company was taking a huge risk. Marissa Mayer, who was the first female engineer to be hired by the company, says, “She got the AOL deal running. She was tough and she was fearless.” ........ Sandberg says that she had an “Aha!” moment in 2005, when Pattie Sellers, an editor at large at Fortune, invited her to the magazine’s Most Powerful Women Summit, an annual gathering of several hundred women. Sandberg attended, but she thought the title was embarrassing, and refused to list it on the Web-based calendar that she shared with her colleagues. She says that Sellers later chided her for being timid. Sellers recalls, “I told her that most of the women on the Most Powerful Women list—Carly Fiorina, Meg Whitman, Oprah, and many others—had a hangup about the word when we started ranking them in 1998, but they’ve come around, and she should, too. What’s wrong with owning your power?” ....... Sandberg fell in love with Dave Goldberg, her longtime best friend, and the two were married in 2004...... “the men were getting ahead. The men were banging down the door for new assignments, promotions, the next thing to do, the next thing that stretches them. And the women—not all, most—you talked them into it. ‘Don’t you want to do this?’ ” ......... Among the hottest new companies— Facebook, Twitter, Zynga, Groupon, Foursquare—none, as Kara Swisher reported in the blog All Things Digital, has a female director on its board. PayPal has no women on its five-member board; Apple has one of seven; Amazon one of eight; Google two of nine. When I asked Mark Zuckerberg why his five-member board has no women, his voice, which is normally loud, lowered to a whisper: “We have a very small board.” He went on, “I’m going to find people who are helpful, and I don’t particularly care what gender they are or what company they are. I’m not filling the board with check boxes.” (He recently added a sixth member: another man.) The venture-capital firms that support new companies have even sharper imbalances; Sequoia Partners lists eighteen partners on its Web site, none of them women .......... “Growing up,” Mark Zuckerberg’s older sister Randi told me, “my brother got video games and I got dolls.” For girls, there is a stigma attached to engineering, Marissa Mayer, who is now a vice-president at Google, says. “They don’t want to become the stereotype of all-night coders, hackers with pasty skin.” Michelle Hutton, who is the president of the international Computer Science Teachers Association, says, “Computer science is seen as a very masculine thing”—just “as girls don’t want to be garbage collectors because that’s seen as a boys’ thing.” ........ Several female computer-science majors at Stanford pointed to the depiction of women in films like “The Social Network,” where the boys code and the girls dance around in their underwear....... remnants of “Mad Men”-era sexism. Dina Kaplan, the co-founder of, says that when she met with angel investors to raise funds she dressed nicely, and in a meeting with a potential funder he told her, “Here’s what we do, Dina. We’re going to spend half the meeting with you pitching me, and half the meeting with me hitting on you!” ....... Partly in response to that incident, in recent years she has regularly co-hosted breakfasts for female entrepreneurs in New York....... “women are not making it to the top. A hundred and ninety heads of state; nine are women. Of all the people in parliament in the world, thirteen per cent are women. In the corporate sector, women at the top—C-level jobs, board seats—tops out at fifteen, sixteen per cent.” ....... fifty-seven per cent of men entering the workforce negotiate their salaries, but that only seven per cent of women do likewise. Second, at home, “make sure your partner is a real partner.” On average, she said, women do two-thirds of the housework and three-fourths of the child care. And, finally, “don’t leave before you leave.” When a woman starts thinking of having children, “she doesn’t raise her hand anymore. . . . She starts leaning back.” In other words, if women don’t get the job they want before they take a break to have children, they often don’t come back...... —a world where half of homes are run by men, especially raising children, and half our institutions are run by women, especially armies ........ By June, Sandberg’s TED talk had been viewed more than six hundred and fifty thousand times...... She recalls a women’s conference that she recently attended in Ghana, where, “almost to a person, the women had seen Sheryl’s talk.” To Mitchell, Sandberg’s talk has had such broad appeal because she wasn’t complaining; she was saying, “Let’s look inside.” ....... Sandberg is not exactly a typical working mother. She has a nanny at home and a staff at work. Google made her very rich; Facebook may make her a billionaire. If she and her husband are travelling or are stuck at their desks, there is someone else to feed their kids and read to them. ...... “underneath Sheryl’s assessment is the belief that this is a meritocracy. It’s not.” Courage and confidence alone will not compensate when male leaders don’t give women opportunities. She adds, “Women are not dropping out to have a child. They’re dropping out because they have no opportunity.” And she doesn’t agree that new attitudes can close the gender gap. Wilson points to Norway, which requires that all public companies have at least forty per cent of each gender on their boards......... “Sandberg, to her great credit, had Larry Summers. She has had sponsors in her life who were very powerful, who went to bat for her. That’s very rare for a woman.” ....... two-thirds of senior male executives are fearful of sponsoring a junior female executive, and half of these women are fearful of accepting such sponsorship....... Sponsorship, which often involves an older, married male spending one-on-one time, often off site and after hours, with a younger, unmarried female, can look like an affair; and the greater the power disparity between the male and the female, the more intense the speculation becomes that the relationship is more than professional. If the woman is subsequently promoted, her achievement will be undermined by office gossip that she earned it illicitly. ..... why she hasn’t insisted on becoming a member of Facebook’s all-male board....... “The No. 1 impediment to women succeeding in the workforce is now in the home. . . . Most people assume that women are responsible for households and child care. Most couples operate that way—not all. That fundamental assumption holds women back.” The second impediment is guilt, she said. “I feel guilty working because of my kids. I do. I feel guilty. In my TED talk, I’m talking to myself, too. I’m not just talking to other people. I have faced every one of those things myself.” ......... Within five months, Sandberg asked Goler to oversee human resources at Facebook. Goler wavered, saying that she didn’t think she was qualified. “No man would ever turn down more responsibility,” Sandberg admonished her. Goler then said yes....... “When Sheryl joined, we were missing the layer right below the senior-executive team,” Randi Zuckerberg said. She joined the company six years ago and is now its marketing manager. With Goler’s help, this layer now includes many women........ “What I believe, and that doesn’t mean everyone believes it, is that there are still institutional problems and we need more flexibility in all of this stuff,” Sandberg told them. “But much too much of the conversation is on blaming others, and not enough is on taking responsibility ourselves.” .......... after which all the women asked personal questions, such as how to find a mentor, and the men asked business questions, like how Facebook would deal with Google’s growing share of the cell-phone market. ...... Many of the women in the room were among the rotating cast of two hundred whom Sandberg invites to her home each month for a buffet dinner and to listen to and question guests, who have included Steinem, the playwright Eve Ensler, Microsoft C.E.O. Steve Ballmer, the educator Geoffrey Canada, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg........ Women need the equivalent of “the old-boys network,” and in her view “Sheryl is putting together a new-girls network inside Silicon Valley.” ...... sexism in America is mainly a problem that women can fix by being more assertive ....... Facebook’s director of platform and marketing, Katie Mitic, says that today there is no “glass ceiling but a sunroof.” ........ “My former boss used to call me ‘the velvet hammer.’ What I do is negotiate for a living. I negotiate for everything, whether it’s mangoes in Mumbai or a deal. I love it." ....... When I asked Kara Swisher if she’s treated differently by men, she smiled and responded, “They’re scared of me.” ....... Women who take leadership roles, research has shown, are “violating the feminine stereotype of being ‘nurturing’ and ‘supportive’ and ‘helping other people succeed.’ ” This leads to a tradeoff. “Women who are perceived as highly competent are evaluated as less warm and less nice.” ........ her modesty and honesty. She neither flaunts nor hides her ambition, and she talks about her guilt at not being home more; she takes command in meetings, yet she’s comfortable describing Mark Zuckerberg as “my boss,” and as “the Steve Jobs of his generation.” She is emblematic, Gruenfeld thinks, of a post-feminist woman who believes that “when you blame someone else for keeping you back, you are accepting your powerlessness.” ........ “She could go be the C.E.O. of any company that she wanted to,” Mark Zuckerberg says. “But I think the fact that she really wants to get her hands dirty and work, and doesn’t need to be the front person all the time, is the amazing thing about her. It’s that low-ego element, where you can help the people around you and not need to be the face of all the stuff.” Sandberg serves on President Obama’s advisory council on jobs, as well as on the boards of Disney and Starbucks. Howard Schultz, the C.E.O. of Starbucks, says, “Most people you meet who are highly qualified and accomplished tend to want to tell you all the things they’ve done and how smart they are. Or they want to impress you. Sheryl is not like that at all.” ........ the pact she has made with her husband: if one of them is travelling, the other will be home for dinner each night with their six-year-old son and three-year-old daughter; weekends are exclusively family time. “We have a fifty-fifty marriage,” Sandberg says........ “The people who are her friends at work are her friends outside work.” ....... Conventional wisdom holds that getting so close to employees can compromise objectivity and the ability to make tough management decisions. “I dramatically disagree with that,” Sandberg says. “I believe in bringing your whole self to work. We are who we are. When you try to have this division between your personal self and your professional self, what you really are is stiff. . . . That doesn’t mean people have to tell me everything about their personal lives. But I’m pretty sharing of mine.” Being open with your employees, she believes, means that nothing is a surprise to them—even if you fire them....... The idea is for Facebook to “tune in to everything around you,” he said. “We call it social design.” ...... Google is clearly miffed that Facebook has become the new tech darling and a magnet for young engineers. It’s also infuriated by the number of employees who have been lured away by Facebook: Sandberg, Schrage, Fischer, Choksi, and many others. Although both companies deny keeping a scorecard, an analysis on LinkedIn indicates that there are approximately four times as many Googlers now at Facebook as there are former Facebook employees now at Google....... “Sheryl is persona non grata at Google,” an executive there says, adding, “She steals executives.” It’s one thing to recruit scarce engineers, a senior Google official says. But Sandberg “used Google as a fertile ground to snap up anybody she possibly could. She claimed that they were people who came to her. It went both ways.” Another Google official thinks she did not play fair in hiring engineers, because she took “advantage of inside information” about how Google operates. For example, he says, at Google it takes approximately three weeks from the time a candidate is put forward until the candidate is approved by a committee of senior executives and is then confirmed or rejected by Larry Page, the company’s co-founder. To jump ahead, he says Sandberg imposed a two-week hiring cycle at Facebook. Sandberg denies this, and says that two weeks is “too slow.” ...... Steyer says that seven and a half million “emotionally underdeveloped” preteens are on the site. They then share all forms of information, some of which may later tarnish their reputations. “To talk about this goes against Facebook’s business model,” he says. Sandberg counters that Facebook works with child-safety groups, and that “research shows that Facebook can promote social development—users feel more social connection, stronger friendships, and greater community engagement.” ....... Another of Sandberg’s challenges is how to enter China, where the government has a particular interest in knowing who your friends are and what they say. ....... a recent article in Foreign Affairs by Clay Shirky, in which he argued that social media creates “a public sphere” that can help authoritarian countries transition to democracy. One Facebook executive said he knows that dissidents who go on the site might be identified by the government and punished. But as long as dissidents aren’t misled by Facebook and know that imprisonment is a risk—and he believes they do—it’s a choice they should be allowed to make. “Thomas Paine knew what he was doing,” he says. Not to engage China, another senior executive says, is to duplicate the U.S. embargo of Cuba, which “didn’t work.” ....... If I decided what I was going to do in college—when there was no Internet, no Google, no Facebook . . ...... Barnard College. She had agreed to be the commencement speaker, following Hillary Clinton in 2009, and Meryl Streep in 2010....... “This probably meant more to me than any speech I’ve ever given, because it’s the beginning of their lives” ...... a voice turned husky by laryngitis. ...... how Barnard had changed her from a girl from Alabama who once imagined she’d now be hunting for a husband and impatient to have his children to a woman who doesn’t “have to apologize for speaking my mind.” ...... a poster on the wall at Facebook: “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” ...... Fortune does favor the bold. ...... Of all the seniors who paused onstage, the one Sandberg recalled most vividly was the graduate who said, “You’re the baddest bitch.”

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1 comment:

Rahul said...

Heres how the manipulated Facebook IPO will go. Big banks are invested in it now and only big banks and hedge funds will be allowed to at the start. The price will skyrocket as the banks, hedgies and big wigs drive up the price to a certain point, then the small investor will be allowed to buy in at much higher prices, the price will continue to rise. Then a little while later the big investors will start taking profits as the little guy buys in, then the price will fall, BIG, and the little investor will be left holding the bag. By the time any of the employees are allowed to sell shares, the price will be 1/3 of what it ran too. If you dont believe me just watch but by all means do not invest in it unless you can get in somehow before the IPO or real soon after, do not hold long term, the big guys wont, at least they will sell enough to hold free shares. This is how IPO's work, its call Market Maker Manipulation. It happens every day...good luck!