Excerpt from an extensive Ken Auletta profile of Sheryl Sandberg
That winter, Sandberg met with Eric Schmidt, who was then the C.E.O. of Google, about her desire to do something else at the company. He proposed promoting her to chief financial officer, a job she rejected because she didn’t think it gave her enough management responsibility. She asked about becoming the chief operating officer, but Google already had a troika making decisions—Schmidt and the two founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin—and they didn’t want to further complicate things.
By February of 2008, Zuckerberg had concluded that Sandberg would be a perfect fit. “There are people who are really good managers, people who can manage a big organization,” he says. “And then there are people who are very analytic or focussed on strategy. Those two types don’t usually tend to be in the same person. I would put myself much more in the latter camp.” Zuckerberg offered her the job of chief operating officer.