After 11 years, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner is stepping down. He is responsible for turning the job search company into a global social network for professional users. Effective in June, the current Senior Vice President of product, Ryan Rolansky will become CEO.
In 2016, he led the job search company’s sale to Microsoft. In the company’s statement Weiner will become an Executive Chairman. When Ryan becomes the CEO, he will directly report to Satya Nadella and will also join Microsoft’s senior leadership
Weiner was 49 year old when he was hired in 2008 by LinkedIn founder, Reid Hoffman. That same year, Rolansky was also brought to board.
The membership base of the company has increased significantly from 33 million to nearly 675 million members under the leadership of Jeff Weiner. Inclusively, the company has grown from 338 to more than 16,000 employees in different offices around the world, the revenue has increased from $78 million to more than $7.5 billion. In 2011, Weiner guided LinkedIn company through its IPO and the acquisition by Microsoft in 2016
Being the new Executive Chairman, Jeff will help the company to realize it’s vision of creating economic opportunity for every member of the global work force. Additionally, he will support the company’s leadership team and focus on improving the upcoming leadership within LinkedIn and building key relationship externally on behalf of the company.
Jeff thanked the leadership members of the company in a LinkedIn post stating that the last eleven years have been the greatest professional experience of his life.
Increasing diversity and inclusion in the LinkedIn networks is one of his primary goals when he assumes the role of Executive Chairman. Weiner has a vision on how to reduce “ the network gap”, which he termed the lack of diversity in social networks.
One of the important things in the hiring process of companies is network. According to research, people who ask for a referral from someone are more likely to get job on LinkedIn. Basically, it is about who you know. In fact, you need a strong network of people in order to appreciate the attached benefits. Research shows that the strength of a user’s network is influenced by three key factors. There are; where they grew up, where they go to school and where they work.
Weiner is ready to step on toes provided he’s able to eliminate this network gap problem within the company. This is because those that have the skills but lack the networks get shut out of opportunities. Solving this problem will be a gradual process. Study after study shows that people who went to the same school, grew up in the same neighborhood or look similar in appearance tend to network with one another. As a result of this, the network of the company will be more predictable. Friends will be more trusted and will have higher chances of getting the opportunity of working in the company.
The mode of operation of LinkedIn is responsible for this network gap problem. This is because the platform facilitates connections between people from the same college or has worked with the same organization. With this digital platform, you can easily connect with people most like yourself. It doesn’t really facilitate connection between people of different backgrounds or educational paths.
It is all about understanding the power of going beyond traditional network to create opportunity for people beyond their first degree Weiner quoted.. He’s ready to eliminate the network gap across every vocational training facility designed to create economic opportunity within the digital platform.
The plus one Pledge initiative is a part of his plan. This element entails workers going beyond their traditional network to reach out to someone new. He advised that this can be achieved by responding to LinkedIn email service request from someone you don’t know. Another aim is to make the company’s job listings visible to people who would like to see them.
Some people who may not welcome Weiner’s initiatives might be reluctant in participating, this is because they have the mindset that the company already have a diverse network. Unless users are forced to confront the lack of diversity in their network, they won’t realize how homogeneous their network really is.
The major contributor to gender and demographic pay gap is lack of access to strong networks and lack of women and color in senior roles of the organization. Weiner’s initiative stands to inspire and benefit the million members of the digital platform to diversify their networks. With this recent change we hope to see much more diversity in LinkedIn’s near future.