SOCIAL NETWORK Facebook's COO Sheryl Sandberg has dumped $7.4m worth of stock in the company as two other executives also look to cash out part of their stock options.
Facebook's initial public offering (IPO) earlier this year was an unmitigated disaster, with the NASDAQ stock exchange unable to handle trading volumes, investors losing money, and the stock's underwriters having to pump in millions to support the inflated opening price. After Facebook's share price tumbled, slashing tens of billions from the value of the firm, Sandberg and other employees are looking to cash out some of their stock options while they are still worth something.
Sandberg, one of Facebook's highest profile executives sold shares worth $7.4m, which Reuters claims is around 353,000 shares. She still owns close to 20m shares in the company, but she wasn't the only executive wanting to cash in. Theodore Ullyot and David Spillanne, respectively general counsel and chief accounting officer at Facebook, each sold shares worth millions last week.
That Sandberg, one of Facebook's highest profile executives and Spillanne, a person with intimate knowledge of the firm's financials are selling shares does not inspire confidence in the firm. Facebook's shares face another tough day of trading on 14 November when even more shares will be unlocked, allowing employees holding stock options to cash in.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said he won't be cashing in his considerable stake in the firm until at least September 2013. Given his high profile and identification with Facebook, Zuckerberg might not be able to offload many shares without raising considerable doubts on the future of the social network he founded. µ