Thirteen years in, Facebook says it will appoint its first black board member
Facebook has committed to appointing a black person to its board of directors, signaling they are making moves to increase diversity within the company.
The news came out of a meeting between Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and lawmakers in Washington D.C. Thursday, reportedly after members of the Congressional Black Caucus asked her about the company’s lack of diversity. Facebook’s board of director is white, and for the most part, male. Two out of eight members are women.
“We got a commitment today from Ms. Sandberg that an African-American will be appointed to the board of directors in the future,” said Rep. G.K. Butterfield, who was in the meeting, The Hill reported.
Facebook’s board includes 8 people:
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO
Marc Andreessen, venture capitalist
Erskine B. Bowles, businessman
Susan Desmond-Hellmann, CEO of The Gates Foundation
Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix
Jan Koum, CEO of WhatsApp
Peter Thiel, cofounder of PayPal and investor
Facebook did not share details on who it would be and said the appointment would happen “within the foreseeable future,” according to The Hill.
Lawmakers also confronted Sandberg about how the platform has been used to amplify racist messages, Politico reported. Some of the ads linked to Russian accounts and purchased during the 2016 election were about Black Lives Matter.
Sandberg did not address question about whether Russian-bought ads were tied to the Trump campaign, according to Politico. She dodged similar questions three times in a conversation with Mike Allen of Axios earlier Thursday.