LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner is taking one for the team and forgoing his $14 million stock bonus to give it back to his employees.
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.
Re/code’s Kurt Wagner was the first to spot the move after the company failed to file a compensation form to the US Securities and Exchange Commission for Weiner. A company representative later confirmed that the LinkedIn CEO had put the stock back into the employee equity pool.
“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,” the representative said.
The company confirmed that this was the first time Weiner has given up his shares.
Since the stock crash, Weiner has been trying to rally his employees into believing in LinkedIn’s mission and that the stock market will once again value the social network for professionals highly.
At a company all-hands meeting, released by LinkedIn, Weiner argued that the company hasn’t changed before or after the crash and that, one day, the valuation will catch up:
We are the same company we were the day before our earnings announcement. I’m the same CEO I was the day before our earnings announcement. You’re the same team you were the day before our earnings announcement. And most importantly, we have the same mission, vision, and sense of purpose in terms of our ability to create economic opportunity. None of that has changed. It hasn’t changed one iota.
Weiner is not the first tech CEO to have followed this playbook. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey gave away one-third of his ownership stake, or 1% of the company, back to employees in October following a round of layoffs.