Sheryl Sandberg of Atherton has become the eighth member of Facebook's board of directors and the first woman appointed to the position.
The Menlo Park-based Facebook announced the appointment Monday (June 25).
Ms. Sandberg, the company's chief operating officer, oversees sales, marketing, business development, legal, human resources, public policy and communications.
"Sheryl has been my partner in running Facebook and has been central to our growth and success over the years," said Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, in a press release. "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."
The company had come under attack by national community groups for the all-male makeup of its board during the months leading up to its IPO. Ultraviolet, a coalition fighting for gender equality, launched a campaign in April to urge Facebook to appoint at least one woman as a director, and delivered a petition signed by 53,000 people to the company's offices in New York City.
Ultraviolet co-founder Nita Chaudhary said Ms. Sandberg's appointment is "an important step in the right direction and a victory," but that the campaign should never have been necessary. "Putting women on the boards of major corporations should be a no brainer and standard business practice. Sadly it is not," she commented in a press release.
Prior to joining the social networking giant in 2008, Ms. Sandberg was vice president of global sales and operations at Google, and previously served as chief of staff for the U.S. Treasury Department under President Bill Clinton. Her career as an economist started at the World Bank after she earned an MBA from Harvard.
She also serves on the boards of the Walt Disney Company, Women for Women International, the Center for Global Development and V-Day, according to Facebook.