Sony purchases rights to Sheryl Sandberg's 'Lean In'

China Facebook Sheryl Sandberg
China Facebook Sheryl Sandberg

(Reuters) - Sony Pictures Entertainment has purchased the film rights to Facebook Inc executive Sheryl Sandberg's bestselling memoir on female empowerment, "Lean In," a source familiar with the deal said on Friday.

Sony Pictures' Columbia Pictures division will handle development of the script, which will be based on themes in the book and not on Sandberg's life, the source said. The script will be written by Nell Scovell who helped Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, pen the book.

Sandberg will donate her portion of proceeds from the deal to her Lean In foundation, the source said.

Sony Pictures is the film and television arm of Sony Corp.

The deal was first reported by industry website Deadline Hollywood.

Sony Pictures spokesman Charles Sipkins declined to comment.

"Lean In" reignited debate over women's opportunities in the professional world after it was published last March. It focuses on ways for women to attain more power in the workplace, including how to command more respect from colleagues.

At age 44, Sandberg is considered to be one of the world's youngest billionaires after shares of Facebook rose earlier this week and made her one of the few women to cross the $1 billion mark in net worth.

Sandberg worked for the U.S. Treasury Department and Google Inc before joining Facebook in 2008.

Columbia Pictures also distributed 2010's "The Social Network," about the founding of Facebook by Mark Zuckerberg.