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Why Did LinkedIn's CEO Give His Bonus Back?

Why Did LinkedIn's CEO Give His Bonus Back?

While it's not completely unheard of, most people who receive a bonus gratefully accept, pocket the surplus and go on their merry way. However, LinkedIn Corp (NYSE: LNKD)'s CEO Jeffrey Weiner is making headlines for passing on his $14 million stock grant.

In an article from Re/code, Kurt Wagner rationalized the move by saying, "How do you perk up employees after your company's stock price falls off a cliff? More money!"

For reference, LinkedIn is down an astounding 46.83 percent year-to-date, and an equally impressive 55.21 percent for the past one year. The company also boasted a majestic one-day fall of over 43 percent following its earnings report in February.

Related Link: Here's A Look At LinkedIn's First-Ever TV Commercial

The Bonus

Supported by SEC-filed documents from Wednesday, it appears that the CEO has forgone his bonus (via annual stock package). The SEC documents summarized the compensation packages for LinkedIn execs, but one top exec's name was missing from the filings. According to company spokesman Hani Durzy, "Jeff (Weiner) did not receive an equity package this year at his request."

Durzy elaborated, "He asked the Compensation Committee to take the stock package he would have received and put it back in the pool for employees."

While the stock has suffered, Weiner's bonus was to have been roughly $1 million more than last year's $13 million, according to sources, coming in around $14 million.

Not An Unheard Of Strategy

Weiner is not alone in this endeavor. Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR)'s Jack Dorsey undertook a similar morale booster tactic in October 2015 by giving away a whopping $200 million in stock to employees.

Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON)'s CEO has also made news for returning bonuses; however, the motivation behind this move is different, stemming from accounting errors, according to CNN Money.

At the time of this writing, LinkedIn was up 3.77 percent on the five-day tape, but down more than 1 percent on the day shortly after the opening bell Thursday.


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