Companies usually stack their executive teams with people who’ve previously worked at public companies, and execs who’ve actually gone through the IPO process are particularly valued. Stubo will understand the nuances around complicated SEC rules around publicity in a pre-IPO company.
Of course Weiner says he hired Stubo for other reasons, and won’t comment on the company’s IPO plans. But it’s clear LinkedIn is looking to file for an IPO sometime in the next few financial quarters. Unless, of course, one of the big guys makes them an acquisition offer they can’t refuse.
This isn’t the first addition to the LinkedIn team that indicates that the company is looking to boost its experience of advising a company through an IPO. Earlier this year, LinkedIn brought on its first outside board member, Skip Battle, former Ask.com CEO and board member of Netflix, Expedia and OpenTable. While Weiner told us at the time that Battle’s experience advising consumer focused and enterprise companies made him an ideal choice, it’s clear that the seasoned exec’s role in helping lead a number of technology companies through a public offering may have been a factor as well.
I sat down with Weiner earlier today to talk about the hiring of Stubo and to talk about LinkedIn in general. The company has 70 million users now, and about 40 million people visit the site each month.
He doesn’t see LinkedIn as a professional version of Facebook. I asked him if LinkedIn, which generates significant revenue from job listings and from companies that pay for insights into people for recruiting purposes, if he considers Facebook or Monster the more direct competitor.
Neither, he said. LinkedIn is a unique thing. And just as people think of Starbucks for coffee or Google for search, he wants them to think of LinkedIn for human talent – finding jobs, finding people and making people more successful in business.