Go to contents

Facebook COO’s 21st century husband

Posted May. 07, 2015 07:18,   


If a woman is very famous, her husband is called as “someone’s husband” instead of his name. So was David Goldberg, the 47-year-old chief executive of SurveyMonkey who was the husband of Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg. After “Mr. Sandberg” died suddenly during a trip to Mexico, people pay tributes to him, describing him as a “21st century husband.”

Sheryl Sandberg got married to Mr. Goldberg, her long-time friend, in 2004. After her second marriage, she continued to succeed. She raked in 1.1 billion U.S. dollars to become a rich woman in the IT industry and emerged as an internationally-renowned figure for working woman in her book “Lean In,” a book in which she frankly shared her experience and advice, in 2013. With two children, she lived at a large mansion with six bedrooms, a wine cellar, a theater, a basketball court, a gym, and a big waterfall, near San Francisco.

Sandberg was able to balance work and family thanks to the help of Mr. Goldberg, Silicon Valley entrepreneur who graduated from Harvard like his wife. He did not only take care of children on behalf of his busy wife but also gave advice on her career such as her salary negotiation with Facebook. When their baby cried in the middle of night, he ran to the baby for his wife to help her to have a rest.

Even in the U.S. that looks like an advanced country in terms of gender equality, it would not have been easy to live as a successful woman’s husband. To Sandberg who was on the fast track, her friends asked, “Is Dave OK?” and her answer was always the same: her husband is more confident than her and is not jealous about her success because he is a successful entrepreneur in his area. The secret behind their happy marriage was that they respected the principle of 50-50 sharing house chores but were not obsessed with it. They did what they could do best: he covered finance while she did grocery shopping and prepared her children’s birthday parties. She said, “The best decision I ever made was to marry Dave.” Now, however, one of her wings has fallen off.