LinkedIn Company Brief

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Company Brief

by Faulkner Staff

Docid: 00021111

Publication Date: 2206

Report Type: VENDOR


LinkedIn is a Microsoft subsidiary that operates the largest
professional-targeted social network on the Internet. Today, the company has
over 830 million subscribers (2022) in 200 countries and in 24 languages. LinkedIn –
which fetched $27 billion for its acquisition in 2016 –
offers a
full service platform for
members to create, manage, and share a
professional identity online, as well as to engage with other
access shared knowledge and insights, and locate business opportunities. LinkedIn
generates revenues through four operations: Talent Solutions, Marketing Solutions,
Sales Solutions, and Learning Solutions. This brief takes a deeper look at LinkedIn’s

Report Contents:

Fast Facts

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Name: LinkedIn (a Microsoft subsidiary)
1000 W Maude Ave.
Sunnyvale, CA, 94805 US
(650) 687-3600
Type of Vendor: Business-Centric Social Networking Site
Founded: 2002
Service Areas: Global


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LinkedIn offers a proprietary social
network platform that allows members to create, manage, and share their professional
identity online; build and engage with their professional network; access shared
knowledge and insights; and find business opportunities. LinkedIn has a “diverse business model” with
revenues generated by membership subscriptions, advertising sales, and talent
solutions. As it stands, LinkedIn is one of four core product / service
offerings within Microsoft’s Productivity and Business Processes segment.
Particular areas within this segment include:

  • LinkedIn – Including Talent Solutions, Learning Solutions,
    Marketing Solutions, Sales Solutions, and Premium Subscriptions.
  • Office Commercial – Including Office 365 subscriptions; the
    Office 365 portion of Microsoft 365 Commercial subscriptions; and Office
    licensed on-premise, comprising Office, Exchange, SharePoint, Microsoft
    Teams, Office 365 Security and Compliance, and Skype for Business, and
    related Client Access Licenses (CALs).
  • Office Consumer – Encompassing Microsoft 365 Consumer
    subscriptions and Office licensed on-premise, as well as Office Consumer
    Services, including Skype,, and OneDrive.
  • Dynamics Business Solutions – Such as Dynamics 365 and comprising
    intelligent, cloud-based applications across ERP, CRM, and Customer Data
    Platform; low-code application platform and automation solutions; and
    on-premise ERP and CRM applications.

LinkedIn was founded on May 5, 2003, although technically
the company was established six months prior by Reid Hoffman with the help of
co-founders Jean-Luc Vaillant, Allen Blue, and Konstantin Guericke. Shortly after going live, LinkedIn received a round
of Series A funding from Sequoia Capital, which provided it with its first
liquid assets, followed by Greylock Partners. Other
investors over the years have included Bain Capital Ventures, Bessemer Venture
Partners, and the European Founders Fund.

items from LinkedIn’s history have included:

  • 2003 – Launches its Web site.
  • 2006-2009: Increases
    its membership from less than five million (2006) to 10 million (2007) to 20
    million (2008) to 40 million (2009).
  • 2009
    Sees Jeff Weiner replace co-founder Reid Hoffman as CEO … Over time, Weiner
    authorizes the rollout of numerous international Web sites, mobile apps, and
    offices in Europe and Asia.
  • 2011
    Offers its IPO at $45 per share … Surpasses MySpace to become third
    worldwide in terms of social network subscribers.
  • 2012 – Reports that a number of member passwords have
    been stolen and accounts compromised, forcing it to
    temporarily disable affected handles. LinkedIn later reveals that 6.5
    million passwords had been posted on a “hacker site” but that many of the passwords had been
    “hashed,” meaning that they would be difficult for a third party
    to decode and abuse … Acquires SlideShare for $119 million, giving it
    access to a technology for sharing slides from programs such as PowerPoint
    and other presentation software without requiring third-party applications.
  • 2013 – Acquires Pulse, a RSS reader app developer for mobile devices, for $90
    million … Introduces the “Sponsored Updates” ad platform as well
    as the “Intro” service for adding user profile pictures to
  • 2014
    Acquires job-matching engine Bright for $120 million.
  • 2015 – Names new Managing Directors for the EMEA and Asia Pacific
    regions: John Herlihy and Olivier Legrand.
  • 2016 – Is acquired by Microsoft for $26.2 billion late
    in December.
  • 2017 – Rolls out its redesigned Web site, which was developed to
    make it more consistent with the LinkedIn mobile app, in addition to
    offering other features to remove clutter, make it more intuitive, and focus
    on best connecting users and information.
  • 2018 – Opens a new office – its first in the US in 10
    years – in Detroit, Michigan.
  • 2019 – Purchases Drawbridge to expand its Marketing Solutions
  • 2020 – Transitions Ryan Roslansky to CEO seat,
    replacing Jeff Weiner, who became Executive Chairman … Discloses plans to
    cut 960 employees (6 percent of its workforce).
  • 2021 – Names Dan Shapero as the company’s first-ever COO … Benefitting
    from a strong job market and high employee mobility in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the
    company reports it has nearly 800 million users and confirmed hires through the platform
    increased by 160 percent year-over-year.
  • 2022 – Acquires Oribi, an Israeli marketing analytics firm, and opens an office in Tel
    Aviv … Enters into a conciliation agreement with the US Department of Labor to resolve
    allegations of gender-based pay discrimination.

Key Executives

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Following Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn, Co-Founder and Executive
Chairman, Reid Hoffman, was reassigned to Microsoft’s Board of Directors. The
unit’s top execs now include:

  • CEO – Ryan Roslansky
  • Senior Vice President and Chief Product Officer – Tomer Cohen
  • Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer – Teuila Hanson
  • Senior Vice President and General Counsel – Blake Lawit
  • Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer – Melissa Selcher
  • Senior Vice President and COO – Dan Shapero
  • Senior Vice President and Head of Engineering – Mohak Shroff
  • Senior Vice President and CFO – James Chuong

Major Products

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LinkedIn offers a social networking service that is
designed to make professionals more productive and successful, to
connect talent with business opportunities; and to create economic opportunity
for every member of the global workforce. To date, its focus has been to
develop products that allow its members to create, manage, and share their
professional identities online, engage with their
professional networks, access shared knowledge and business insights, and find
business opportunities. In particular, the company leads a diversified business with revenues it
pulls in from membership subscriptions, advertising sales, and recruitment
solutions. Its principal services, both free and monetized, include offerings to
help hire, market, sell, and learn.

LinkedIn’s portfolio of products and services are listed in Table 1.

Table 1. LinkedIn Services
Service Type Offerings
Hire (Talent Solutions) Services for hiring, learning, and development
  • Recruiter and Recruiter Lite
Platform for finding, connecting with, and managing talent hires
  • Jobs
Tools for finding hires
  • Talent Hub
Applicant tracking system
  • Talent Insights
Data-driven insights
  • Recruitment Marketing
Tools such as targeted ads and Web pages
  • Learning
Tools to connect employees to relevant, applicable skills
Market (Marketing Solutions) Allow organizations to advertise to LinkedIn’s member base
  • Sponsored Content
Native ads that appear in the LinkedIn feed
  • Sponsored Messaging
Tools to engage community of professionals to drive action relevant to
one’s business.
  • Conversation Ads
Supports quality conversations with professionals
  • Message Ads
Direct messages to prospects
  • Video Ads
Native video at every stage of the buyer’s journey.
  • Text Ads
PPC (pay-per-click) or CPM (clicks-per-minute) desktop ads
  • Dynamic Ads
Personalized ads to engage prospects
  • Carousel Ads
Interactive story to inspire professionals to take action
Sell (Sales Solutions) Applications for finding leads and closing deals
  • Sales Navigator
Targeting software to locate buyers, understand key insights, and engage
with personalized outreach
  • Sales Insights
Sales planning with real-time data and insights from LinkedIn
Learn (Learning Solutions) Professional courses to build in-demand employee skills and strengthen
one’s organization
  • For Business
Modern learning experience for employees
  • For Higher Education
Resources to bolster student outcomes, provide faculty and staff with
  • For Government Agencies
Resources to further a government agency’s mission while promoting
employee development
  • For Libraries
Online learning to connect patrons to trending, in-demand professional

Major Competitors

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LinkedIn faces competition from online recruiting companies,
talent-management firms, and larger organizations that focus on talent
management and HR services. Other potential – albeit lower-level competitors –
include job boards, traditional recruiting firms, companies that provide
learning and development products and services, and traditional social networks.
LinkedIn’s Marketing
Solutions, in particular, also competes with online and offline outlets that
generate revenue from advertisers and marketers.

Zip Recruiter:

Recent Activity

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Recent LinkedIn activity has included:

  • June 2022 – Announces new initiatives for business-to-business
    marketing, including B2B Edge for consulting and long term brand building, and LinkedIn
    Business Manager to centrally manage people and accounts to improve marketing at scale
    and campaign optimization.
  • May 2022 – Enters into a conciliation agreement with the US Department
    of Labor to resolve allegations of gender-based pay discrimination. Under the agreement,
    LinkedIn will pay $1.8 million in back wages and interest to the 686 affected female workers
    in the engineering and marketing groups, conduct staff training to ensure compliance with
    non-discriminatory obligations, and evaluate over three years whether the company’s
    compensation is gender-neutral and make adjustments if not.
  • April 2022 – Reports 34 percent year-over-year revenue growth and more
    than 830 million members on the platform. Confirmed hires increased 88 percent.
  • February 2022 – Files a federal lawsuit against a Singapore company for
    the unauthorized scraping of millions of member profiles. Mantheos Ptd. Ltd. and its founders
    are accused of using a network of hundreds of fake accounts and falsified virtual debit cards
    to gather the profile data. In May, Mantheos agrees to permanently delete all scraped profiles,
    destroy all software used in the operation, and stop accessing LinkedIn profile data through
    scraping or other automated means … In a subsidiary reshuffle, Glint, a platform that helps
    companies attract, develop, engage, and retain employees, will move from LinkedIn to Microsoft
    Viva. Viva is an employee experience platform (EXP) that brings together work communications,
    knowledge, learning, resources, and insights … Acquires Oribi, and Israeli-based marketing
    analytics firm; as part of the agreement, LinkedIn will open an office in Tel Aviv.
  • January 2022 – LinkedIn continues to report strong growth, with a 37
    percent jump in revenue. Market Solutions grew 43 percent year-over-year and Microsoft
    reported “better-than-expected performance” in Talent Solutions resulting from a strong
    job market.
  • December 2021 – Launches InCareer, a new jobs app designed to help
    Chinese mainland professionals find jobs and allow companies to discover new talent in
  • October 2021 – Benefiting from the “Great Reshuffle” in the global
    labor market, LinkedIn reports a 42 percent increase in year-over-year revenue and total
    members reaching nearly 800 million. Confirmed hires through the platform increased more
    than 160 percent year-over-year and ad revenue was up by 61 percent.
  • August 2021 – Extends the suspension of new members signups in China
    (implemented in March 2021) “to ensure we remain in compliance with local law.”
  • July 2021 – Announces that since being acquired by Microsoft five years
    earlier, revenue has nearly tripled, hitting $10 billion, with year-over-year growth of 27
  • June 2021 – Partners with Discord, Facebook, Google, Reddit, and others on
    the Digital Trust and Safety Partnership, aiming to develop industry best practices to
    ensure the safety of user data.

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