Jeff Weiner is one of the most famous executives on the planet and is said to have a net worth of over $100 million. This is because he had a pivotal role in transforming LinkedIn from a struggling platform into one of the most popular social media sites for both businesses and professionals. However, it is important to note that he had a long and successful career at a number of companies before he became involved with LinkedIn, though he has been involved with the Internet in one sense or another in most of those positions.
In a way, Weiner can be seen as an excellent example of someone who spearheaded the transformation of society with the widespread availability of fast and reliable Internet capabilities, meaning that learning more about his life's story is perfect for people who want to understand that era, which is still happening in the present.
Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Jeff Weiner:
1. Recommended Warner Bros. to Go Online
In 1994, Weiner managed to land a position at Warner Bros. There, he wrote a report recommending that the entertainment titan start an online segment, which was still a new and untested concept at the time. While Weiner held no more than a minor position at the time, his report met with a positive reception, which contributed much to his eventual rise to a vice president at Warner Bros. in charge of its online segment.
2. Launched Entertaindom
Weiner was one of the three Warner Bros. executives behind Entertaindom, which was a web entertainment hub that featured a combination of clips, cartoons, games, news, and even original web content. Its initial performance was promising, so much so that it was intended to receive an IPO. However, those plans fell through when AOL bought out Time Warner with the intent of slashing its costs, which resulted in the shutting down of Entertaindom as well as the departure of Weiner from Warner Bros.
3. Joined Terry Semel
Upon his departure from Warner Bros., Weiner signed up with ex-Warner Bros. CEO Terry Semel at his investment firm, Windsor Media, where he was responsible for capitalizing on Internet-based opportunities. Later, when Semel was named the CEO of Yahoo in 2001, Weiner went with him to become one of its top executives as well. There, he oversaw Yahoo's content and search businesses until he was passed over for the position of its new CEO in 2008, which convinced him to leave in search of new opportunities elsewhere.
4. Started Out As LinkedIn's Interim President
After his time at Yahoo, Weiner became an executive-in-residence for two venture capital firms called Accel and Greylock. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, an executive-in-residence is an entrepreneur who provides a venture capital firm with their expertise and experience in exchange for its support when its comes to their entrepreneurial efforts. Weiner's position led him to becoming the interim president of LinkedIn in 2009 in an effort to restore the fortunes of the flagging website. However, what was supposed to be a temporary position soon became permanent, as shown by the fact that he was announced as its new CEO in June of the same year.
5. Managed to Get an IPO in 2011
In 2011, Weiner managed to boost the performance of LinkedIn by so much that he was able to proceed with a planned IPO, which came around a decade after similar plans with Entertaindom fell through. For the most part, Weiner accomplished his goals by monetizing LinkedIn, whether that meant including advertisements or including subscriptions. For what it is worth, he even start offering high-powered recruitment tools, thus making the website more and more important as a way of finding the right talent in modern times.
6. Uses "Next Play" As His Business Mantra
A lot of people like to use a business mantra for the purpose of capturing their thoughts about business and compressing it into a convenient form. In Weiner's case, this is, "Next play," which is something that he picked up from the famous Mike Krzyzewski, who coaches basketball at Duke University. In short, it means that people should not be too caught up with either the successes or the failures of the moment, which could leave them unprepared for the next step in their business operations. Unsurprisingly, this attitude permeates the whole of LinkedIn.
7. Believes in the Power of Clear Vision
Leadership has an important role in business because it ensures that its resources can be put to productive use in fulfilling its stated intentions in an efficient and effective manner. However, Weiner has made it clear that leadership starts with a clear vision for the business, which means knowing what it is supposed to do. In turn, the vision for the business is supposed to guide the rest of the management's thinking, whether that means planning the realization of the vision or how to control resources in order to execute the steps needed to realize the vision.
8. Believes in Encouraging Employees to See the Big Picture
Traditional management believed in top-down decision-making, meaning that the management would be responsible for making decisions while leaving nothing but the implementation to their subordinates. However, modern management tends to believe in empowering employees because that results in a more responsive business, which is important when the business environment is changing with such speed. This can be seen in how Weiner has stated the need to encourage employees to think about how their decisions will affect the business's achievement of its strategic aims instead of remaining too focused on their particular duties and responsibilities.
9. Encourages People to Set Aside Time to Think
Time management is a skill of most successful people, so it should come as no surprise to learn that Weiner is the same. In part, Weiner practices time management because he believes in the importance of having time to think about what has happened as well as how that fits into people's plans for the future. In fact, he considers this to be so important that if someone cannot set aside one or two hours for reflection on a regular basis, he suggests that said individual is taking on too much when it comes to their schedule.
10. Recommends the Power of Laughter
As strange as it sounds, Weiner has stated that a team member's sense of humor can be more important than their expertise and experience under certain circumstances. After all, a positive mood means the best performance, which can be hard to sustain for hours and hours at a time. As a result, a sense of humor can help team members laugh even in the toughest moments, thus enabling them to last longer and work better.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker