LinkedIn CEO forgoes $14 million stock bonus, gives it to staff
In order to boost employee morale — and keep talent from jumping ship, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner is taking one for the team and forgoing his $14 million stock bonus to give it back to his employees.
Weiner’s decision follows LinkedIn’s dismal earnings report last month, which caused the company’s market value to plummet by about 43% in just one day.
“Jeff decided to ask the Compensation Committee to forgo his annual equity grant, and to instead put those shares back in the pool for LinkedIn employees,” Joe Roualdes, a spokesperson for LinkedIn, told MONEY.
The move is sure to boost morale among employees after the company's stock value took a drubbing following its earnings report in February. The stock, which had been trading around $192, fell more than 40% to $108 in the aftermath. It's since increased to $119.
The company has confirmed that this was the first time Weiner has given up his shares.
Weiner is not the only chief executive of a struggling tech company to delve into his own earnings to try to appease anxious employees. After Twitter’s stock plummeted in October, CEO Jack Dorsey announced that he would give a third of his stock award—worth about $200 million—to employees. Plum Creek Timber Co. CEO Rick Holley also gave back his $2 million bonus in 2014, because he did not feel he should receive it unless shareholders saw a return on their investment, Business Insider reported.
Though Weiner’s gift is an impressive gesture, he isn’t feeling the same financial pinch as other LinkedIn employees. He owns about $12.7 million in company stock, with another $57.5 million invested options that he can buy for about 2% of LinkedIn’s current stock price.