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New COO has also worked at Google

Facebook names Sandberg first female director

Internet firm Facebook has appointed Sheryl Sandberg as chief operating officer.

In a statement, founder Mark Zuckerberg said: "Sheryl has been my partner in running Facebook and has been central to our growth and success over the years. Her understanding of our mission and long-term opportunity, and her experience both at Facebook and on public company boards makes her a natural fit for our board."

Sandberg joined Facebook in 2008 and has been a central part of helping the firm develop before its recent IPO. Previously, she gained extensive experience in the industry working as vice president of global online sales and operations at Google, and helping to launch Google.org.

Prior to that, Sandberg was chief of staff for the United States Treasury Department under President Clinton.

Facebook has long been criticised for the lack of diversity in its board, but whether this move is enough to silence its critics is hard to tell.

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