Sheryl kara sandberg (born august 28, 1969) is an american businesswoman. she has served as the chief operating officer of facebook since 2008. in june 2012, she was also elected to the board of directors by the existing board members, becoming the first woman to serve on its board. before facebook, sandberg was vice president of global online sales and operations at google. she also was involved in launching google's philanthropic arm google. org.