Sheryl Sandberg Might Soon Be One Of The World’s Richest Self-Made Women

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[credit provider=”Business Insider / Matthew Lynley”]

Facebook is supposed to IPO at a valuation around $100 billion in the next few months.When that happens, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg will suddenly be one of the richest self-made women in the world.

She may even be the richest – ever.

Back when Sandberg joined Facebook in early 2008, employees joining at the “director” level were granted .1% of the company, a source tells us. Employees at the VP level got around 5 times that, or ~.5%.

When non-founding CEOs join startups, they typically get around 2.5% of the company in stock options. Pandora’s non-founding CEO Joseph Kennedy owned 2.71% of the company when it had its IPO. LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner owned 2.5%.

Sandberg is not Facebook’s CEO, of course. That’s cofounder Mark Zuckerberg, who owns an astounding 24% of the company. But Sandberg is much more than your typical COO. She runs the ad business. She’s the “adult supervision,” and she’s one of the company’s more public faces. 

It’s also likely that Facebook had to pay up to get Sandberg when it got her.

At the time, Facebook was only a couple years old and its young founder had already blown through two other top lieutenants; Sean Parker and Owen Van Natta. And it’s not like Sandberg didn’t already have a good job: she was running Google’s self-service ad sales organisation. She’s also told interviewers that she was being recruited to be CEO at other companies.

So if VPs were getting .5% and most startup CEOs get 2.5% – it is probably conservative to say that Sandberg has at least 1.25%.

If that’s true, when Facebook IPOs, she will be worth $1.25 billion.

Where does that stack Sandberg up against other women?

Well, according to Forbes’s list of the world’s billionaires, there are plenty of women out there with a lot more dough that $1.25 billion.

The thing is, almost none of them are “self-made;” they’re all heiresses until you get to Oprah Winfrey who, way down at number 420, is worth $2.7 billion.  JK Rowling is also on the list because she’s reportedly worth $1 billion.

If we’re right – and Sheryl has at least a 1.25% stake in Facebook – she’ll soon be right there among them.  If, when Sandberg joined, she managed to get a package befitting a non-founding CEO, she’ll have almost as much as Oprah and maybe more.

If that happens, Facebook’s IPO will not only have created at least one thousand millionaires, it will have also created the world’s richest self-made woman – ever. 

So maybe it’s a good idea to take some career advice from her.

(Facebook declined to comment on this story.)

Update: A reader reminds us that Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman is also a self-made billionaire.

See also:  Facebook’s IPO Will Create 1,000+ Millionaires >>