Facebook's Zuckerberg & Sandberg say 'committed to doing this well'

#35: Mark Zuckerberg & Sheryl Sandberg

Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg (photo credit: REUTERS)
Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg
(photo credit: REUTERS)
In a world where influence is increasingly defined by an individual’s ability to affect other people’s thinking through social media, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg are certainly among the world’s most influential figures.
Facebook, which started life in 2004 as a basic tool for social networking, today boasts more than 2.41 billion monthly active users. The California-headquartered social empire also names Instagram and WhatsApp among its growing list of platforms.
It is often said that with great power comes great responsibility. Zuckerberg and Sandberg are no strangers to the concept, with Facebook making almost daily headlines concerning online privacy and safety, political advertising and antitrust probes.
When it comes to sensitive content issues, Yahoo Finance recently cited top company executives, stating that both Zuckerberg and Sandberg are “incredibly involved.”
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Battling public relations crises, the 35-year-old Zuckerberg dedicated his keynote speech at Facebook’s F8 developer conference in April to the company’s commitment to a future of privacy. Despite record profits, Zuckerberg knows that Facebook will only continue to dominate the social space by responding to concerned users.
“Over time, I believe that a private social platform will be even more important in our lives than our digital town squares,” said Zuckerberg, now estimated to be worth almost $70 billion.
“We don’t exactly have the strongest reputation on privacy right now, to put it lightly. But I’m committed to doing this well and starting a new chapter for our product.”
Sandberg, once responsible for the major growth of Google’s online advertising sales, assumed the position of Facebook COO in March 2008.
Later to become the first woman on Facebook’s board of directors in 2012, Sandberg is credited with transforming Facebook from a non-corporate social-networking site into an extraordinarily profitable multi-billion dollar business.
In August, Sandberg inaugurated the social media giant’s “Playground” in central Tel Aviv, establishing a new platform for the local business and start-up community. She spoke of her admiration for Israel, where she briefly lived as a young child.
“This country is not just deeply meaningful to me, but also to Facebook,” she said. “This is a country of start-ups and entrepreneurs. Our goal in this space at Playground is to help these start-ups become the leading tech companies.”
Facebook first opened an office in Israel in 2013, and today has more than 300 employees. The company’s dedicated engineering hub – the second-largest Facebook R&D center outside of the US – is part of its growth group, responsible for products including Facebook Lite, internet.org and Express Wi-Fi.
Beyond their influence in the digital world, both Zuckerberg and Sandberg contribute widely to philanthropic causes.
Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan signed “The Giving Pledge” in 2015, promising to donate 99% of their Facebook stake during their lifetime into the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which focuses on education and opportunity.
Sandberg, who has also signed The Giving Pledge, established the Sheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Family Foundation in November 2016 in memory of her late husband.
In addition to Sandberg’s other significant philanthropic efforts, the foundation seeks to advance opportunities for women and assist individuals facing adversity, trauma and hardship through shared experiences and support.