Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg Rules Out Public Office

Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg sought Wednesday to spike persistent rumors that she may run for political office, going beyond previous statements by telling NBC's "Today Show": "I have ruled it out. I don't think that's for me."

The political ambitions of Facebook's chief operating officer have been the subject of recurring speculation, based on her high profile in Silicon Valley, close ties with Democratic power brokers -- and a potential network of supporters who have joined groups devoted to her best-selling book, "Lean In," and its advice for women who want to advance their careers.

The charismatic, 44-year-old Sandberg has also been mentioned recently as a potential candidate for CEO at other companies, in part because Facebook's 29-year-old chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, seems unlikely to retire in the near future. But Sandberg told the Today Show's Savannah Guthrie: "I really love my job and I have no plans to make any changes."

Sandberg has denied political ambitions before, including in private conversation, according to some tech industry sources. Political experts, however, said even her latest statement isn't necessarily binding.

"I don't think it forecloses future action on her part. She could rule it back in at some point," said Barbara O'Connor, a veteran analyst and emeritus director of the Institute for the Study of Politics and Media at California State University, Sacramento.

Sandberg's statement that she has ruled out public office went further than an Associated Press interview earlier in the week, in which she said simply "I'm not running" but didn't speak to the future.

For now, the interview appeared to dampen immediate expectations that Sandberg -- who is a near-billionaire, thanks to stock grants from working at both Facebook and Google -- might run for U.S. Senate if either of California's longtime incumbents, Democrats Dianne Feinstein or Barbara Boxer, decide not to seek another term.


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