LinkedIn CEO Passes 2016 Stock Package to Employees

LinkedIn CEO Passes 2016 Stock Package to Employees
LinkedIn said on Wednesday Chief Executive Jeff Weiner will decline his 2016 annual stock compensation in order to pass it on to his employees at the professional social network.

The move follows LinkedIn's disappointing first-quarter revenue and profit forecast that missed Wall Street estimates last month as growth slows in the company's ads business and its hiring services face pressure outside North America.

Up to Wednesday's close of $119.6, LinkedIn's stock had dropped nearly 38 percent since its results on February 4.

"Jeff decided to ask the Compensation Committee to forego his annual equity grant, and to instead put those shares back in the pool for LinkedIn employees," a LinkedIn spokesperson said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

LinkedIn did not confirm the value of the stock package but technology website Re/code reported it was worth about $14 million (roughly Rs. 94 crores), citing a source familiar with the matter.

Weiner had received stock awards worth $10.2 million (roughly Rs. 68 crores) and option awards worth $3.2 million (roughly Rs. 21 crores) for the year ended December 31, 2014.

LinkedIn last month company reported better-than-expected results for the fourth quarter but provided a weak forecast for 2016.

The professional networking service's adjusted earnings and revenue beat Wall Street's estimates for the last three months of 2015, thanks to strong demand for its hiring and recruiting software. But it issued a forecast that was far below what analysts were expecting.

LinkedIn also said it will phase out a new online advertising product that hasn't worked out as planned, which will cause it to forego roughly $50 million (roughly Rs. 338 crores) in near-term revenue. LinkedIn reported a loss of $8.4 million (roughly Rs. 56.8 crores), compared with a $3 million (roughly Rs. 20 crores) profit a year earlier.

Written with agency inputs

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