Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

LinkedIn's Hoffman Takes Back CEO Title, as Nye Departs and Weiner Enters

Well-known Silicon Valley entrepreneur Reid Hoffman (pictured here) will become CEO of LinkedIn again, taking on the job he had for nearly four years after founding the business networking company in 2003.

Hoffman replaces current CEO Dan Nye, who has resigned and will leave the company in mid-January. He came to LinkedIn almost two years ago and was positioned then as the person who was going to eventually be taking LinkedIn public.

More interesting in the shift is the appointment of former Yahoo exec Jeff Weiner as interim president, overseeing day-to-day operations at LinkedIn.

Weiner has been an executive-in-residence at both Accel Partners and Greylock Partners (a LinkedIn investor) since he left Yahoo earlier this year.

He will remain at those venture firms during the transition, even though he will be working at LinkedIn too. At Yahoo (YHOO), Weiner was EVP of the Network Division, which included all of its consumer-facing units.

In an interview earlier today, Hoffman portrayed the changes as friendly, praising Nye’s efforts as top exec, noting the company’s growth from eight million members to 33 million, reaching profitability, and its $53 million in funding in June at a $1 billion valuation.

But, Hoffman said, “We came to the decision that I needed to be working full time, driving the vision.”

Nye (pictured here) noted the recent hiring of Google (GOOG) exec Dipchand “Deep” Nishar as VP of products, which he spearheaded, was an important moment. Hoffman had been in charge of products.

“I wanted to grow this company into a world-class operation,” he said. “Now, Reid needs no friction, so he can move quickly and do what’s necessary for the next phase.”

Weiner (pictured here) said he was looking forward to getting back into operations, after playing an advisory role recently. “I have been really impressed with the company the leadership team has built,” he said. “I see a lot more potential going forward.”

Although it has raised $100 million in total, LinkedIn has not been immune to the recent economic weakness across Silicon Valley. It recently did some layoffs too, and has been focusing much more on increasing the number of revenue streams it has.

Below is a video interview I did with Weiner in June of 2007, when he was still at Yahoo.

And, below that is another I did with Nye, nine months after he first got to LinkedIn, in which he talks about his plans for the company. (Yes, that is a Hawaiian shirt, and Nye does give Yahoo advice in it.)

Weiner:

Nye:


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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google