Sheryl Sandberg had an opportunity to be CEO of LinkedIn in 2006, but turned down the job, she reveals in her new book, “Lean In”.The book isn’t out yet, but Tom Gara at the Wall Street Journal landed an advanced copy and has been peeling out some of the most interesting nuggets.
Sandberg says that in 2006, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman approached her about being the CEO of LinkedIn. At the time, she was 37, and she had been at Google for five years.
She was definitely interested in a new challenge, but running LinkedIn may have been too big of a challenge. She still wanted to have another child and so she passed on the job.
Smart move! She later became COO of Facebook, acting as a powerful second in command for Mark Zuckerberg.
LinkedIn and Facebook are both fantastically successful companies, and it’s hard to say if LinkedIn would have done better, or worse under Sandberg, but let’s assume it did the same.
From a purely financial standpoint, Facebook has worked out very nicely for Sandberg.
At the time of the IPO, we estimated Sandberg’s Facebook shares as being worth $1 billion. Since the stock slipped, those same shares are around $700 million today.
When LinkedIn IPO’d, we pegged Weiner’s shares as being worth $200 million. The stock has done well and right now, those same shares would be worth $292 million.
The caveat with those numbers: It looks like Weiner has had some more shares vest, and is probably worth a little bit more.
The other thing to note: Both of them are filthy rich, doing good work, and seem very happy with how this all worked out. So, what’s a few hundred million between friends?