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Facebook COO Sandberg sells MEELLLIONS OF DOLLARS of stock

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Mark Zuckerberg's right-hand woman Sheryl Sandberg banked approximately $7.44m on Friday, after she sold around 353,000 of her shares in Facebook as trading restrictions for employees expired.

The free-content ad network's COO - who joined Facebook from rival Google in March 2008 - retains about 20 million vested shares in the company, a US Securities and Exchange Commission filing showed.

Her Facebook peers - general counsel Theodore Ullyot and chief bean counter David Spillane - also sold stock worth millions of dollars last week, as lock-up periods continued to expire this time for employees who are shareholders in the firm.

Zuck's outfit is still worth roughly about the same as British supermarket giant Tesco at around $60bn. During Facebook's initial public offering in May this year, the company was valued at more than $100bn.

Since then, Facebook's shares have gone south from a high of $38 to Friday's closing price on Nasdaq of $21.19.

There are still another 800 million shares considered to be ripe for trading as of 14 November, Reuters noted.

Zuckerberg, though, is in it for the long haul having previously committed to not sell any shares in his company until September 2013 at the earliest. It could, of course, prove to be a shrewd move if the 28-year-old manages to steer Facebook through the choppy mobile waters. There are hints, at least, that this is already in play. ®

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