SAN FRANCISCO -- Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg is in South Korea officially to promote her book "Lean In." But sources told the Korea Herald that she was also taking the opportunity to lean on Samsung Vice President Shim Soo-ok to form a mobile partnership with the giant social network.
Facebook cofounder and Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg visited South Korea in June to meet with President Park Geun Hye and with Samsung executives. Speculation flew that Zuckerberg was in talks with Shin Jong-kyun, who runs Samsung's mobile unit, over a possible Facebook phone.
The newspaper reported that Zuckerberg broached building a "Facebook-friendly" phone but Samsung rejected the idea.
The visit came on the heels of the not-so-friendly reception that greeted Facebook's first official phone. The First from HTC and AT&T came preloaded with Facebook Home but didn't catch on with consumers. Facebook's new Home software also proved less popular than anticipated.
At the time a source told the Korea Herald: "Facebook has every intention of becoming the second Google, and with that intent in mind, Zuckerberg is said to have asked Samsung to step up cooperation by launching a phone with a Facebook interface."