Sheryl Sandberg Lightens Her Facebook (FB) Load by 10M Shares

Facebook (FB) COO Sheryl Sandberg has sold more than half her stake in the social networking giant since its IPO less than two years ago, bringing her overall holdings down to 17.2 million shares from about 41 million shares, according to an FT report which cites recent SEC filings.

Mark Zuckerberg’s No. 2 chief operating officer has sold about 10 million shares worth some $400 million since Facebook made its stock market debut in May 2012. The transactions, which were filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, were made under the “blind” trading plans that corporate execs use to spread their holdings out over a period of time to avoid accusations of insider trading, the report said.

Sandberg, one of the richest women in the U.S. with an estimated net worth of $1.05 billion, also unloaded nearly 16 million shares in late 2012 to settle a tax bill by using a pre-arranged trading plan.

The series of disposals are likely to add to persistent rumors about whether Sandberg is eying an eventual departure from the company for a run for the U.S. Senate or as head of another large firm.

Facebook’s shares are up more than 57% from their IPO price, trading at $60 and change as of 4:34AM EDT.

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