The world had no idea what a professional social network should look like, before LinkedIn Corp was founded in May 5, 2003. Soon after the launch, it became one of the widely used social networking website for all job seekers and business professionals across the world. Reid Garrett Hoffman, the former Executive Chairman and co-founder of LinkedIn, as well as a venture capitalist and author, turns 54 today. On this occasion, we bring a few interesting, yet less known, aspects of his life.
Date of Birth: August 5, 1967
Net Worth: $2.4 Billion
1. Reid Hoffman had completed his graduation from Stanford University in 1990 and post-graduation in Philosophy from Wolfson College, Oxford in 1993.
2. As a teenager in college, Hoffman dreamed of doing something bigger that would have a global impact. He majored in philosophy at Oxford in order to improve his writing and strengthen the intellectual public culture. Indeed, his writing helped him in evaluating where he stood in terms of achieving his goals.
3. In 1994, Reid Hoffman took his first job at Apple Computer where he worked on eWorld – a subscription-based online service. AOL acquired eWorld in 1996. In 1997, he co-founded his first company SocialNet.com, a dating website. While working on SocialNet, he joined PayPal as a member of the board of directors. Later in January 2000, he left SocialNet to join Paypal as Executive Vice-President. He was responsible for all external relationships for PayPal, including payments infrastructure (VISA, MasterCard, ACH, WellsFargo), business development (eBay, Intuit, others), government (Regulatory, Judicial), and legal.
4. In 2002, Hoffman started LinkedIn, along with the founding team members Allen Blue, Eric Ly, Jean-Luc Vaillant, Lee Hower, Konstantin Guericke, Ian McNish, Yan Pujante and Chris Saccheri. Today, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with 774+ million members in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.
5. In December 2016, Hoffman sold LinkedIn to Microsoft for $26.2 billion in cash. After the acquisition, on March 14, 2017, Hoffman joins Microsoft as a board member.
6. Hoffman has also been an active angel investor. Between September 2000 and November 2009, he made investments (seed, series A) in over 70 companies, including Facebook, Zynga, Digg, Last.fm, Flickr, Fandom, Ironport, Shopkick. Hoffman’s most well-known investment was in Facebook, which is now the world’s largest social media company. Interestingly, Hoffman arranged the first meeting between Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and Peter Thiel, which resulted in Thiel’s initial $500,000 angel investment in Facebook. Hoffman had also invested in Facebook’s first financing round.
7. In November 2009, Hoffman joined Greylock Partners, one of the oldest venture capital firms. His major funding areas at Greylock include consumer internet, enterprise 2.0, mobile, social gaming, online marketplaces, payments, SAAS, and social networks. Hoffman’s other venture capital investments include Airbnb, Apollo, Aurora, Coda, Convoy, Entrepreneur First, Magical Tome, Nauto, Neeva and Xapo.
8. Reid Hoffman currently serves on the Board of Directors for a number of non-profit organisations, including Endeavor Global, [email protected], Research Bridge Partners, Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, QuestBridge, Center for Citizen Media, etc.
9. Reid Hoffman was ranked 22 on the Forbes Midas List of Top Tech Investors 2021.
“I actually think every individual is now an entrepreneur, whether they recognize it or not”, these words of Hoffman depict his faith in human capability, which led him a long way to success, and the proverb “Failure is the stepping stone of success” depicts his life story and how he dealt with failure to transform it into a stunning victory for LinkedIn and for himself.
The article is a part of the B’day Series where we celebrate the birthday of renowned personalities from across Industries, very frequently. The series includes Entrepreneurs, C-level Executives, innovators or a renewed leaders who moved the industry with his exponential skill set and vision. The intent is to highlight the person’s achievements and touch base the little known, but interesting, part of his life. You can see the list of all earlier celebrated tech personalities, including Mark Zuckerberg, Marrisa Mayor, Sean Parker, Andy Rubin, Julian Assange, by following this link or subscribe to your daily newsletter.
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