back to article Sheryl Sandberg offloads $41.5m in Facebook shares in just 6 weeks

Facebook's Chief Operating Officer has divested herself of MORE Facebook shares, ditching just under a million on Friday and netting a cool $26.2m. A little something for Christmas, perhaps? It bumps up the total cash haul Sandberg has made from Facebook shares to $41.5m. That's all since the end of October when the directors …


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  1. Ian 62

    Just to jump on the bandwagon...

    Of course he wont sell any shares, he'll borrow money against the value of them in his pension pot investment portfolio.

    Which means its tax free.

    1. Robert Grant

      Re: Just to jump on the bandwagon...

      Okay I don't understand that but am curious: explain, please :)

      1. Ian 62

        Re: Just to jump on the bandwagon...

        IANAIFA... However if the reports are to be believed, I gather that a number of our 'celebs' dont get paid. But take out loans against the value of their assets. Thats a debatable value!! :)

        And am sure I've seen similar approaches that others take against the value of their stock. I suppose the risk is you borrow $1billion in cash against $1billion in shares, But then the shares tank. Although dont they say never owe your Bank £1000, make sure you owe them millions?

        1. Ian 62

          Re: Just to jump on the bandwagon...

          Found the story...

    2. FanMan

      Re: Just to jump on the bandwagon...

      Well that's all fine and large but if you borrow against something you are still on the hook for the value thereof, tax or no tax.

      Better to cash in real time while the gettin's good, you ask me.

  2. Tom 38

    Sounds bad - what COO sells their own stock, not exactly a vote of confidence, but then you get to the crux of it - she still owns (at current prices) ~$500m worth of shares.

    1. Tiny Iota
      Black Helicopters

      To oversimplify a tad…

      …if you don’t sell shares, there’s no point having them (ok, I should have said oversimplify a lot). Dividends are lovely but becoming an instant real (not paper) millionaire is probably quite nice too.

      Maybe she wanted to buy a fleet of black helicopters.

      1. graeme leggett Silver badge

        Re: To oversimplify a tad…

        Or a mega yacht with remote submersibles - or is that only for the boys?

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Eddy Ito

      Not that bad

      It's likely a tax move. Depending on how the income is classified and how hard Uncle Sam insists on impacting1 the fiscal cliff, she is looking at saving about $2m in taxes by selling today instead of waiting another month. I'm sure it's a delicate balance since the value of her stock holdings could rise or fall that much in a week. In short I would classify this as making sure she has a bird in hand since most media outlets have everyone in a tizzy over what the bush will look like if the folks in the D.C. don't finish consulting the chicken bones before the end of the Mayan calendar.

      1. I know everyone talks of going over the fiscal cliff but that assumes we are on the top but they clearly aren't paying attention and any interaction with a fiscal cliff will surely be a square on impact near the bottom.

  3. tmTM

    Get out while the gettings good

    I'd rather take the millions now than wait and hope they're still there later.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Get out while the gettings good

      It's a tax-efficient divestment. She still holds lots and lots of shares. This allows bonuses to paid in stock rather than income, which given the considerable discrepancy in US tax between capital gains (selling vested stock previously awarded is taxed at a whopping 15%) and income tax makes (could be > 30%) more sense for both company and director.

      1. mini-me

        Re: Get out while the gettings good

        I seem to recall from somewhere that the capital gains tax rate was going up from 15% to 20% in the US after Dec 31st - that's a reason why a whole bunch of profit taking / tax planning would be going on.

        1. GotThumbs

          Re: Get out while the gettings good


          Any american who has a retirement fund should be thinking about the current value of their retirement fund. Even state employee retirement funds are invested in the stock market and anyone who thinks they will be guaranteed money when the well is dry is fooling themselves.

          Best wishes on America surviving the next four years.

  4. 0laf Silver badge

    The only way is down. Social networks are faddish and probably always will be.

    1. bolccg

      Seems very unlikely to me

      I don't really buy into the FB hype but I doubt that social networks are a fad - they speak to something very basic within our nature.

      On the other hand, if you are talking about the share price, then I absolutely agree - I think that usage will increase as the proportion of the world using the internet increases but I can't see that they can realistically monetise the site enough to be worth the market capitalisation. There may be a great equalisation, therefore, as membership rises and the share price stagnates until the valuation gets closer to being reasonable.

      Just my two cents.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Seems very unlikely to me

        Social networks are here to stay. The only real question is in what form. Betting on FB is in my mind a dangerous one because it's still too early in the game to bet on what the future will look like. Most likely someone will come out with something better that will also be FB compatible and that will be that.

        The change will most likely come when the next generation come into their own ... and then FB will likely become the OAP's version of that other dead social network MySpace.

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      fads can last a long time.

      Books, plays, music, religion, drinking are all social fads

  5. J. Cook Silver badge

    Wait, wut?

    "The share price is currently $27.84 - down from a high of $45 earlier this year."

    I think the author meant:

    "The share price is currently $27.84 - down from the IPO of $45 earlier this year."

    Mine's the one with Confederate currency as the lining.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Wait, wut?

      If you'd bought at the lowest point you could still have made a mint.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Wait, wut?

        If you'd bought at the lowest point you could still have made a mint.

        That is always the case with shares. The key being knowing when bottom has been reached. But that isn't applicable Mrs Sandberg and not really to Facebook's IPO which was very close to a "pump and dump" scheme: lots of shares were sold at inflated price.

  6. PipV

    Jumping Ship

    Friends Reunited anybody?

    1. Crisp

      Re: Jumping Ship


      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: Jumping Ship

        El Reg !!!!!!

        What do you mean they don't have any shares, I "invested" 100 Beellion dollars in El Reg.......The first results were the badges, I am jsut waiting on them paying out the first dividend.

        The first divided will be paid in FB shares........... meeehhhhhhh.

        The second dividend will be paid in Ipads...........meeehhhhhhh.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    I can't remember who it was said about...

    When one of FB's early investors cashed out after the IPO, one of the retail investors tweeted that "it's like your sitting in coach on an airliner, and you see the pilot walking by, wearing a parachute!"

    I thought that was a pretty funny comment.

    1. Agarax

      Re: I can't remember who it was said about...

      Keep in mind that the earliest investors were venture capitalists. They support a lot of companies that end up failing in the end on the off chance 1:1000 ends up like Facebook.

      For them to cash out isn't necessarily a bad thing, they have to return the profit to their investors to pay back for the other 999 startups that didn't make it.

  8. Steve T


    Why would anyone bother to go to work after netting that much?

    Seriously, why? I don't get it.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: why?

      To make mmmmmooooorrrrreeeeeee!!!!!

      A paltry 27 meeellion dollars isn't going to buy much of an underground lair now is it? There's wear and tear on sharks, henchmen, self-destruct buttons, superhero insurance, monorails... Also beautiful femmes fatales do not come cheap. Or in the case of a female COO, I guess she's going to be looking at dudes dangereuses...

    2. Jan Hargreaves

      Re: why?

      I'm guessing you've never had a job you actually enjoy?

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: why?

        a job you actually enjoy?

        Error. Error. Does not compute. Illogical. Illogical. This statement contains a paradox. Circuits overheating! Cannot compute! Unable to process statement in conflict with programming! Errorerrorerrorerrrrrr...

        1. Philip Lewis

          Re: why?

          One of my colleagues used to have a great bumper sticker ...

          "A bad day fishing is better than a good day at work"

          Actually, it's better than ANY day at work. Me, I going "fishing" for the next 3 weeks. I am evaluating if I will even bother to come back to the desk.

  9. Scott 62

    because once you're worth £500m+ money isn't what drives you anymore.

    to most of us plebs a job is a means of getting our bills paid, eating food and not much else, given the choice i personally wouldn't work, but then i'm not massively career driven in the first place, i don't live for my job and feel no particular loyalty towards my employer. (who in turn feels none..or very little towards me)

    maybe that's why i'm still a techie and not a COO in the first place?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The worrying part...

    There is someone out there prepared to buy FB shares at > 1c per share. It better not be my pension fund manager.

  11. JaitcH

    I didn't know there was a Jesish Christmas?

    Between Sunset, December 8 to nightfall, December 16, 2012 they celebrated Festival of Lights, Festival of Dedication.

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