MENLO PARK -- Facebook added a new member to its board on Wednesday by appointing Susan Desmond-Hellmann, chancellor of the UC San Francisco, as its second female director.

Desmond-Hellmann is a medical doctor and an expert in the biotech industry. She was a scientist and an executive at Genentech for 14 years, before she was named to run the university's San Francisco campus in 2009.

"I've always been drawn to organizations that do groundbreaking work," she said in a statement released by Facebook on Wednesday.

Facebook has had a relatively small board since its founding in 2004, and it drew criticism for not having female directors in the past. The company added Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg to its board last year. Desmond-Hellmann brings the total board membership to nine.

Desmond-Hellmann oversaw the development of several new cancer drugs at Genentech before she took the top job at UCSF, which is known as a leading biomedical research institution. She is also a director of Procter & Gamble.

The university is also known for research on public health issues. Two years ago, Desmond-Hellmann donated $134,000 to the university's tobacco research program after a New York Times reporter questioned her about owning stock in the tobacco company Altria.


Advertisement

Desmond-Hellmann sold the shares and donated the proceeds, saying she hadn't realized that her financial adviser had bought the stock for her portfolio. "I am strongly anti-tobacco," she said at the time.

Contact Brandon Bailey at 408-920-5022; follow him at Twitter.com/brandonbailey.