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Friday, August 9, 2013

Sheryl Sandberg Sells $91 Million of Facebook Stock

With Facebook‘s shares finally trading above their initial public offering price of $38 a share, Sheryl Sandberg is taking some money off the table.

Ms. Sandberg, the No. 2 executive at the social networking company, sold 2.37 million shares of stock on Wednesday at an average price of more than $38, according to a securities filing released late Friday, after the stock market closed.

Her proceeds amounted to about $91 million, according to the filing.

Like many technology company executives, Ms. Sandberg routinely sells small chunks of her holdings under automated trading plans. The latest sale also was part of an automated plan, according to the filing.

But it was by far the largest sale she had made since the company went public in April 2012, amounting to nearly 6 percent of the stock, restricted stock units and options she held at the time of the company’s I.P.O. in April 2012.

It was also the biggest stock sale reported by any Facebook executive since the company exceeded its I.P.O. price last month.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s co-founder and chief executive officer, has disposed of no shares other than to make charitable contributions.

Ms. Sandberg, who recently wrote the best-selling advice book “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead,” has been the subject of frequent speculation that she will leave Facebook, perhaps for a job in government.

However, she has frequently said that she has no plans to quit the company. She still holds more than $1 billion of Facebook stock when options and restricted stock units are included.

A Facebook spokesman said the company never comments on share sales by its executives. The company also declined to make Ms. Sandberg available to discuss the matter.