Social network bosses in line for huge windfall

Steve Dinneen
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LinkedIn’s management stand to make a paper fortune when the firm floats later this month.

Co-founder and chairman Reid Hoffman will be the biggest winner. He will reduce his stake from 21.2 per cent to 20.1 per cent, meaning he could be $660m richer if LinkedIn hits the top end of its range.

The California-born technology wizard studied at Oxford University before spending spells working for both Apple and Fujitsu.

LinkedIn is not his first successful start-up. He was a member of the board when the leading online payment system PayPal was formed. He worked for the firm until its acquisition by eBay, after which he turned his sights to social networking. Hoffman will retain a voting share of more than 20 per cent after the flotation.

LinkedIn chief executive Jeffrey Weiner will sell a comparatively modest $4m worth of shares in the flotation, leaving him with a 2.3 per cent stake worth in the region of $77m. He joined the firm in 2008 after stints as a vice-president at Yahoo and Warner Bros.

Both men have also founded their own small technology ventures.