Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg Almost Became LinkedIn’s CEO

By Justin Lafferty 

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg has one of the most impressive resumés in the tech world, including a stint as chief of staff in the U.S. Treasury Department, and working to make Google into the giant that it is today. But as The Wall Street Journal discovered in an early reading from Sandberg’s book, before she worked for Facebook, she was offered the top job at another social networking site — LinkedIn.

Sandberg’s upcoming bookLean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, is scheduled to be out in March, but The Wall Street Journal got an early copy. In the book, Sandberg described the difficulties of rising through the professional ranks as a woman, and how her ambition and drive for success was key in her rise to the top.

Sandberg also wrote about her friendship with Facebook Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, as well as what Zuckerberg is like as a boss (even though he was only seven when Sandberg graduated from Harvard University).

After working for Google for five years, she was given the chance to lead an interesting new company:

In the summer of 2006, a tiny startup called LinkedIn was looking for a new CEO, and Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn’s founder, reached out to me. I thought it was a great opportunity, and after five years in the same position at Google, I was ready for a new challenge. But the timing was tricky. I was 37 years old and wanted to have a second child. I told Reid the truth: Regrettably, I had to pass.

Readers: How would Facebook be different had Sandberg taken the job with LinkedIn?