CEO: Jeff Weiner
Based in: Sunnyvale, California
Founded: 2002 – launched May 3, 2003
Best known for: professional networking platform
Traded on: private company as of 2016
LinkedIn history begins in co-founder Reid Hoffman’s living room in 2002, though the official launch of the website was not until May 3, 2003. Hoffman, along with fellow founders Allen Blue, Eric Ly, Konstantin Guericke and Jean-Luc Vaillant, sought to create a platform where professionals could connect with each other within their given industries – but also across various industries.
LinkedIn may have started slowly, with only about 20 professionals creating an account a day, but it quickly grew into a start-up on which to pay attention. By 2011, LinkedIn became a public company and opened at the New York Stock Exchange at more than $83 a share. With its stock instantly growing on its first day on the NYSE, the LinkedIn company rivalled Google Inc’s first-day success numbers. However, the company’s time on the stock market would come to an end when Microsoft bought it in 2016 for $26.2bn, which resulted in LinkedIn becoming private once again.
Today, LinkedIn is still known as a way for professionals to connect. In fact, it’s the number-one website for any professional (in any industry) to connect to others, as well as apply for jobs and get to know potential future employers. While LinkedIn offers free accounts to everyone, it gains revenue from premium membership subscriptions, ads and even recruitment aid.
About LinkedIn: through the years
2002: LinkedIn was started in co-founder Reid Hoffman’s living room
2003: Linked.com officially launches
2011: LinkedIn become a publicly-traded company and enters the New York Stock Exchange
2013: on its 10th anniversary, the company reaches 225 million members on its platform
2016: Microsoft buys LinkedIn for $26.2bn, turning the company back to private