LinkedIn Founder And CEO Win National Entrepreneur Of The Year Award
Written by Ken Gaebler
Reid Hoffman and Jeff Weiner take top honors for building a world-class networking tool that connects professionals in new and innovative ways.
It was recently announced that LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman and CEO Jeff Weiner are the 2011 winners of the Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the nation's most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs.
The award was presented at the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum in Palm Springs, California, and was given in recognition of Hoffman and Weiner's utilization of complementary gifts in the development of the world's largest professional networking service.
"Reid Hoffman and Jeff Weiner have created an invaluable tool for business professionals around the world. Their keen insight into consumer needs and their ability to continually look for new opportunities for growth and expansion makes them the ideal overall winners of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2011 Award," said Bryan Pearce, Americas Director, Entrepreneur Of The Year, Ernst & Young LLP.
The award comes on the heels of LinkedIn's IPO in May. With an IPO of $45 a share, the company's worth was valued at $4.3 billion, which is the highest IPO market value for a US Internet company since Google went public in 2004.
Ironically, it was networking – an introduction from a mutual acquaintance – that brought Hoffman and Weiner together. After the two eventually met in person at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech Conference in 2008, they became fast friends and began to lay the groundwork for their professional partnership.
Yet despite their success, both Hoffman and Weiner agree that their basic business philosophy has remained the same, and that no matter how large they become, they intend to keep the entrepreneurial spirit alive in their company.
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