How do you perk up employees after your company’s stock price falls off a cliff? More money!
LinkedIn on Wednesday filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission outlining 2016 compensation packages for its top executives. There was not, however, a document for CEO Jeff Weiner. That’s because, according to a LinkedIn spokesperson, Weiner is forgoing his annual stock package so that employees can have it instead.
“Jeff did not receive an equity package this year at his request,” spokesperson Hani Durzy told Re/code. “He asked the Compensation Committee to take the stock package he would have received and put it back in the pool for employees.”
That stock package is worth roughly $14 million, according to a source familiar with the company, an amount comparable to the roughly $13 million in stock Weiner was awarded last year.
It’s a nice gesture for sure, and probably a smart one given that LinkedIn’s stock fell more than 43 percent in a single day after the company reported earnings early last month. (Here you can watch Weiner address employees after the crash.)
Weiner wants to keep employees happy, and giving up his own stock options may help with that.
Weiner isn’t the only one to employ this strategy. Back in October, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey gave away $200 million in stock to Twitter employees after company-wide layoffs and a battered stock price had taken their toll. Project morale boost!
Worth noting: Weiner can give away $14 million in stock because he already has a ton of money. He owns 105,924 shares of stock ($12.7 million), with 480,000 more shares of vested stock ($57.5 million) at the ready that he can buy for roughly two percent of LinkedIn’s current stock price.
He also has nearly 90,000 unvested restricted stock units and over 400,000 more options vesting at various price points. In other words — a lot of incentive to stay at LinkedIn and ensure the company succeeds.