News yesterday bouncing all around the blogosphere was that Sheryl Sandberg became a billionaire. Given the run Facebook’s stock has had over the past two quarters, it was only a matter of time. Sheryl’s current shares and stock options, as well as, Facebook’s current stock price makes Sheryl is one of the youngest female billionaires and only one of seventeen in the world.
Unfortunately, Sheryl becoming a billionaire was not the most interesting aspect of this news. In the middle of a story posted in Bloomberg BusinessWeek, this quote ran:
“Did she do a billion dollars-worth of work? I don’t know,” David Kirkpatrick, author of “The Facebook Effect,” a history of the company, said in a telephone interview. “She had the good fortune to land in the right place where her talents could really be applauded.”
Now if that is not a thinly veiled shot, I don’t know what one is. Perhaps John Gruber of Daring Fireball but it best:
“Would Kirkpatrick have asked this of a man? And if he had would Bloomberg have run the quote? I searched Google for the phrase ‘Did he do a billion dollars worth of work?’ and the only hit was this tweet from Jezebel editor-in-chief Jessica Coen, retweeting this tweet from Alex Leo pointing out the absurd gender bias in this article.”
Sheryl’s work is so cemented into the zeitgeist of Silicon Valley that often she is often used as a job title as in “I need to find myself a Sheryl Sandberg for my firm.” She earned the billion dollars, as Sheryl was vital in getting Facebook to where Facebook is today.
Associate Professor of Marketing
Stillman School of Business
Seton Hall University