LinkedIn CEO’s Pay Increases More Than 40-Fold to $49M

LinkedIn Corp. (LNKD) Chief Executive Officer Jeff Weiner’s total compensation rose more than 40-fold to $49.1 million last year after the company gave out its first stock awards since 2011.

The pay, which includes $28.7 million in stock options and $18.7 million in equity awards, compares with the $1.18 million that Weiner made in 2012, according to a filing yesterday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Other top executives at the Mountain View, California-based company also received multimillion-dollar paydays last year, the filing said.

LinkedIn, like many Silicon Valley technology companies, has given out stock and options awards every other year since going public in 2011. The large awards for 2013 are a reflection of the professional social-networking company’s performance, with LinkedIn shares gaining 89 percent last year, compared with a 30 percent increase in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. The company is set to report first-quarter earnings on May 1.

“The company is taking into consideration the success LinkedIn has had and is viewing this as a long-term award, something that will be meant to cover several years of equity,” said Aaron Boyd, director of governance research at compensation-research firm Equilar Inc. “In technology, we’ve seen some large equity awards over the last several years.”

LinkedIn shares have slumped this year amid a selloff in social-media stocks, as investors debate whether the companies can grow as fast as they have in the past. LinkedIn fell 6.4 percent to $148.06 at the close in New York yesterday and are down 32 percent this year.

Weiner’s compensation exceeds those of several of his social-media peers. Twitter Inc. CEO Dick Costolo made $130,250 in 2013, the year the San Francisco-based microblogging company completed its initial public offering. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg total compensation last year was $653,165, including a $1 base salary and the passenger fees, fuel, crew and catering costs for his use of private planes for personal reasons, as part of his security program.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Frier in San Francisco at sfrier1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Pui-Wing Tam at ptam13@bloomberg.net Ben Livesey

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