SAN FRANCISCO Facebook filed its IPO on Wednesday, setting the stage for the Internet industry's biggest coming-out party and one of Wall Street's most hotly anticipated events of 2012.
Here is a look at some of the personalities behind the world's largest social network.
1. Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive and co-founder
Zuckerberg, portrayed as a brilliant, ambitious and ruthless empire-builder in the 2010 movie "The Social Network," founded Facebook with Chris Hughes, Dustin Moskovitz and Eduardo Saverin while at Harvard University in 2004.
The 27-year-old frontman, who has repeatedly said he was in no rush to go public because that might distract employees and dilute his control, decides the direction and product strategy of the company.
Forbes estimates Zuckberg's net worth at $17.5 billion, making him the 14th richest man in the United States.
2. Peter Thiel, investor and director
The billionaire Stanford alumnus and former Wall Street trader was Facebook's first outside investor and director. Thiel co-founded online payments service PayPal and sold it to eBay Inc for $1.5 billion in 2002.
3. Christopher Cox, vice president of product
Cox organizes Facebook's product strategy and oversees product management and design. He joined the company in 2005 as a software engineer and was involved in the first versions of Facebook features such as the News Feed and Inbox.
4. Dan Rose, vice president of partnerships
A former Amazon.com Inc manager who helped develop the "Kindle" digital book reader, Rose oversees Facebook's partnerships, forging ties with Hollywood film studios, game makers, mobile phone companies and even carmakers. Rose also takes the lead on mergers and acquisitions.
5. David Fischer, vice president of advertising and global operations
Fischer is responsible for much of Facebook's vast and highly profitable advertising network. He runs sales, advertiser marketing and customer operations. During seven years at Google Inc, Fischer helped build that company's online ad network into the largest in the world. Before that, he was deputy chief of staff at the Treasury Department during the Clinton Administration.
6. Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer
Sandberg, one of the most powerful women in Silicon Valley, oversees business operations including sales, marketing, business development, human resources, public policy and communications. Another former Google employee, Sandberg built and managed Google's online sales channels for advertising and publishing and operations for consumer products. Before working for Google, she was chief of staff at the Treasury Department under President Clinton.
(Reporting By Alistair Barr and Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Derek Caney)