Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg to Sponsor U.S. Navy Submarine

Can Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg lean in to a U.S. Navy submarine?

Can Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg lean in to a U.S. Navy submarine?

Mashable reported that Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus selected Sandberg as the sponsor of the USS Massachusetts, a Virginia-class attack submarine (similar to the vessel pictured to the right) that is expected to join the fleet in 2022.

According to Mashable, General Dynamics Electric Boat will begin construction on the USS Massachusetts in 2017 at its facility in Quonset Point, R.I., and Newport News Shipbuilding will perform the final assembly tasks in Virginia.

Capt. Patrick McNally, spokesman for Mabus, told Mashable Sandberg and Mabus have met several times, including at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., adding that Sandberg has publicly praised Mabus for female-friendly policies such as tripling paid maternity leave, and saying:

Expanding the variety of people who serve as sponsors is another avenue to strengthen that connection. She (Sandberg) really has come to epitomize a successful empowered woman. Her selection is merited in her own right. She’s there because of what she has accomplished. She’s not there as a partner or spouse.

Readers: What do you think of the U.S. Navy’s choice of Sandberg?


Image of Virginia-class attack submarine courtesy of General Dynamics Electric Boat.

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.