Where Would Facebook Be Without Sheryl Sandberg?

Profile reveals a true renaissance woman

The Chinese market, boosting ad revenue, privacy complaints, oh my! For Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, these pressing issues are just another day at the office.  And issues that she handles with aplomb, according to a gleaming BusinessWeek profile of the executive.

In the age of women executives portrayed as Devil Wears Prada-types, BusinessWeek’s piece depicts a woman who can do no wrong. The article highlights Sandberg’s energetic and nurturing personality, her Capital Hill sensibility, and her camaraderie with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. It also provides insight into some of the challenges the COO will continue to face as second-in-command at the social networking giant.

Since joining Facebook in 2008 from her position at Google, Sandberg has quashed the company’s ad revenue problems, boosting Facebook’s worth to a predicted $100 billion initial public offering as early as sometime this year. Still, the executive, wife, and mother must grapple with other less straightforward questions. Currently on the table, and a reported source of disagreement between Sandberg and Zuckerberg, are the pros and cons of entering the controversial Chinese market, currently closed off by the iron firewall.

The piece also reveals a woman adamant about keeping things small scale. Sandberg believes the key to fostering innovation is fewer employees and higher efficiency, a formula she says her former employer Google lost sight of during a period of unbridled growth.

Taking lessons learned from her early years in Washington to more recent experience mitigating privacy controversy at Google, Sandberg has seemingly crafted a space in Facebook where she can grow along with the company. Her husband and SurveyMonkey Chief Executive Dave Goldberg says he believes Sandberg will be at the company "well beyond an 18-month time horizon."