April 9, 2014 at 9:31 AM ET
Sheryl Sandberg, the Facebook executive who taught thousands of working women how to “lean in” to their careers, dismissed rumors Wednesday that she plans to run for political office.
“I have ruled it out. I don’t think that’s for me,” she told TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie, explaining that “I really love my job, and I have no plans to make any changes.”
Sandberg also addressed what she called “confusion” about her sale of half her Facebook holdings since the company went public two years ago.
“A good chunk of what was sold was all for taxes, so there’s just confusion on that,” she said. “I have really plans to stay at Facebook. I love my job. I love what we do every day to connect the world, and I love being able to work on ‘Lean In’ in my personal time.”
Sandberg’s best-selling book, “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead,” sold more than 1.75 million copies since it was released last year. This week she released a new edition of the book, "Lean In: For Graduates," that adapts her advice to college grads entering the work force.
“We know that this can be the generation that can get us to equality. That means we have to give women and men the tools, but especially women, to get paid the same as men," she told Guthrie. "They deserve it, to get the same opportunities as men, not just to enter the workforce but to get into jobs like yours and jobs like mine. “
The original book and its call to action for women to confidently assert themselves in the workforce became a philosophy adopted by more than 16,000 “lean-in circles” formed in 72 countries.
But those beliefs also led to criticism about setting unrealistic expectations in a society where women face numerous institutional barriers they must clear before climbing the corporate ladder.
Sandberg, who serves as Facebook's chief operating officer, said "all kinds of change" are needed to get more women in executive board rooms.
“We need public policy reform and institutional change, but a lot of those changes can come about if there were more women in leadership roles,” she said. “We know that when companies have more women, even middle management, those companies have better work-life policies for women. So I believe we need reform, and I believe women can help us get there.”