After eleven years as LinkedIn CEO, Jeff Weiner has this week announced that he’s stepping down, and will be replaced by the company’s Senior Vice President of Product Ryan Roslansky.
Weiner has played a major part in the platform’s development in his time as CEO – as outlined by LinkedIn:
“Jeff joined LinkedIn in December 2008, and under his leadership, we’ve grown from 338 to more than 16,000 employees in over 30 offices around the world, our membership base has increased from 33 million to nearly 675 million members, and our revenue has increased from $78 million to more than $7.5 billion in the trailing twelve months.”
But Weiner isn’t leaving LinkedIn – instead, he’ll take on a new role as LinkedIn’s Executive Chairman, which will give him the opportunity to focus on one of his key areas of interest: creating economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.
Weiner spoke about this mission in an interview with Wired’s Nicholas Thompson last November, in which he outlined the challenges of economic inequality, and the role LinkedIn might be able to play in such.
A key part of connecting with relevant opportunity, Weiner noted, is who you’re connected with, with most people gleaning at least some level of advantage from being exposed to the right professional and educational circles.
“It turns out, where you grow up, where you go to school and where you work heavily influence the strength of your network. And more specifically, if you grow up in a high-income neighborhood, you are three times more likely to have a strong network. If you go to a top school or university, you are two times then again likely to have a strong network. If you work at a top company, you are two times again likely to have a strong network. If you enjoy all three of those advantages, you are 12 times more likely to have a strong network.”
LinkedIn has already been working to address these impacts. Last September, LinkedIn introduced its ‘One Plus Pledge’ initiative, which calls on professionals to share their time, talent, and connections with someone outside of their network. LinkedIn’s also working to ensure all members are made aware of relevant job listings, on equal footing, while Weiner will also focus on better connecting people seeking opportunities with potential mentors and connectors in related circles, in order to close the gap.
It’s an ambitious remit, but with an unmatched database of career and educational insights at its disposal, LinkedIn is well-placed to improve such outcomes, and maximize opportunity for all.
In terms of the main platform, Roslansky, who’s been at LinkedIn for over a decade himself, doesn’t foresee any significant changes in direction for the company moving forward. Roslansky has been heavily involved in all of LinkedIn’s major initiatives, including the development of its ‘INfluencer’ program, the evolution of the platform’s marketing and advertising tools, and the growth of LinkedIn’s publishing platform and content eco-system.
With the platform seeing consistent growth, and increases in engagement, it makes sense for LinkedIn to largely stay the course – though you would also expect to see some subtle shifts in focus, along with new pushes, as noted, to address economic inequality.
Also, it could spell the end of LinkedIn’s not infamous ‘broetry’ posts.
According to Wired, Roslansky is not a fan of these drawn out, line-by-line spaced LinkedIn updates which induce people to click to see the full post (example above from Ryan Mac). Really, few people are, but Roslansky is in position to get rid of them, which he’s already working towards.
The role changes at LinkedIn will take effect from June 1st, 2020.