LinkedIn’s new CEO was Jeff Weiner’s first recruit

LinkedIn

Jeff Weiner, who has been CEO of LinkedIn for 11 years, has announced he will become the professional networking business’ Executive Chairman with Ryan Roslansky becoming the next CEO.

Weiner revealed in a post on LinkedIn, that Ryan Rolansky was the first person he employed after joining the business in December 2008.

LinkedIn, Ryan Rolansky

“He (Ryan Rolansky) has been essential to the company’s success ever since: helping to build our Marketing Solutions business, developing LinkedIn’s Influencer program and publishing platform, overseeing the home page and Feed, running all of our consumer products, championing the acquisition of Lynda.com, and co-developing our prioritization framework for the Microsoft integration,” wrote Weiner on LinkedIn.

“Most recently, as our global head of product, Ryan has been a key architect in reshaping LinkedIn’s increasingly complex consumer and enterprise applications into a single, holistic, global ecosystem. In doing so, he has helped lead one of the best performing stretches in the company’s history.

“Despite now reaching over 675M members, employing over 16,000 people, and generating $7.5B of revenue, in many respects it feels like LinkedIn is just getting started. That seems especially true given the impending impact of technology on the global workforce and the critical role LinkedIn will play in helping people effectively navigate the global economy in the 21st century. In addition to being an inspiring leader and one of the most talented product people I’ve worked with, Ryan is a true systems thinker – exactly what a company of our scope and scale will require to realize LinkedIn’s extraordinary potential.”

Weiner and Roslansky have known each other since they met at Yahoo in 2001.

LinkedIn was founded in 2002 by Reid Hoffman and founding team members from PayPal and Socialnet.com. Weiner joined as CEO on 15 December, 2008, and was instrumental in the deal that saw Microsoft pay more than US$26 billion for LinkedIn in December 2016. CEO Weiner retained his position and had to report to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

LinkedIn, Jeff Weiner

“The last eleven years have been the greatest professional experience of my life and none of it would have been possible without you, our members. Thank you for everything you’ve done to help manifest our vision to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce,” Weiner wrote.

“Despite the scale and impact we’ve achieved thus far, it still feels like in many respects we’re just getting started. I can’t wait to see where our team and this community take it from here.

“As for my role going forward, Ryan and I discussed the value of serving as Executive Chairman as Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn, did for me. This is especially meaningful given there is no individual who has had more influence on my tenure as CEO than Reid. Despite his various interests outside of the company, LinkedIn has always been his top priority. Whether as a representative of LinkedIn at the highest levels, product visionary, business strategist, mentor, or advisor, his contributions have been invaluable, and LinkedIn obviously wouldn’t be where it is today without him. As LinkedIn’s new Executive Chairman, I hope to serve in much the same way.

“I’ll also have the opportunity to do even more of what I already love doing: manifesting LinkedIn’s vision to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce and closing the Network Gap; working on The Compassion Project to help ensure that compassion is taught and practiced in every primary school in the US; investing and coaching, and sharing what I’ve learned over 27+ years in business with the next generation of leadership talent.

“When I first shared this idea with Satya, he couldn’t have been more supportive and excited about both Ryan leading LinkedIn into the future and my transition to the Executive Chairman role. That came as no surprise given our working relationship over the last three years. Since the acquisition, Satya’s commitment to our shared vision for the integration and his unconditional support have been instrumental in our success. The opportunity for me to continue to work with Satya and the Microsoft leadership team in pursuit of helping billions of people gain access to economic opportunity adds an extremely exciting dimension to my next play.”

Rolansky will take over the CEO office in June.

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