Facebook Hires Sandberg to Make Microsoft's $240 Million Investment Pay Off

A senior executive jilted Google for another search engine - and it's not Yahoo or MSN Live. In the strange bedfellows game in tech, the Google exec will help Microsoft profit from the $15 billion Facebook valuation Microsoft's $240 million investment created.

Facebook has hired Sheryl Sandberg as their new COO. Sandberg leaves Google after six years and a wealth of stock options. Formerly Google's vice president for global online sales and operations, Ms. Sandberg is expected to help solve the Facebook monetization challenge.

If there's any question about her charge at Facebook, the answer lies in the Supernova Conference in San Francisco last year. Ms. Sandberg was featured in a Spotlight solo presentation.

Her topic: "Google cracked the code on monetizing search advertising. Where is advertising heading next?"

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TechCrunch compared Facebook and Google to the Mac and PC (see illustration). We added Sheryl Sandberg to the mix.

TechCrunch reported on a small exodus of Google and YouTube engineers to Facebook back in November of last year. Facebook hired Youtube CFO Gideon Yu, eCommerce Product lead Benjamin Ling and GDrive developer Justin Rosenstein.

Ms. Sandberg was named to The Power 50: The 50 Most Powerful Women in business by Fortune magazine in 2006 and 2007. Currently number 29, there's no question she'll rise higher this year if she succeeds at Facebook.

While Ms. Sandberg will be missed at Google, the company boasts a strong executive bench.

Sandberg's Google team, led by David Fischer who will succeed her, oversees global sales for what the Wall St. Journal estimates is 99 percent of all Google's advertisers.

Senior Google executives have their pick of hot startups and companies transforming themselves into digital enterprises. Some have left the company for private equity firms and other lucrative opportunities. Many more, including Google's vice president of search products Marissa Mayer, are expected to leave within two years or sooner.

About the author

Kevin Heisler, formerly the executive editor of Search Engine Watch, is a search and advertising industry veteran. His former roles include VP, strategic accounts for integrated digital marketing firm 360i; director of business development for Didit Search Marketing; and search industry analyst at Jupiter Research.

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