Reid Hoffman is the co-founder of the professional networking site LinkedIn, a venture capitalist, and an entrepreneur.
Hoffman attended high school at an independent alternative learning school called The Putney School. He attended Stanford University from 1985 to 1990, where he earned a B.S. in symbolic systems. In 1993, he graduated from Wolfson College at the University of Oxford with a master's degree in philosophy. In 2012, Babson College awarded Hoffman with an honorary doctorate degree. In January 2020, the University of Oulu announced it would award Hoffman with an honorary doctorate degree in its Doctoral Conferment Ceremony held from May 22-24, 2020.
Hoffman has worked at many notable online tech companies and has founded several of his own. Hoffman began working at Apple in 1994 as a senior user experience architect. He left in 1996 to work at Fujitsu, where he remained until he ventured into entrepreneurial pursuits and founded his first company in 1997.
Hoffman was an original board member of PayPal and often referred to as part the "PayPal Mafia" along with Elon Musk and Peter Thiel, who were some of PayPal's co-founders. The PayPal Mafia is a name for the group of the most notable former PayPal employees as well as its founders who later created large successful companies. Upon PayPal's takeoff, Hoffman became the COO in 2000. In 2002, he became PayPal's vice president.
Hoffman founded SocialNet in 1997. It was a social networking site intended for matching up users based on their elected similar interests. Hoffman stated his belief for the website's failure to launch the modern day social media era was its use of usernames, or pseudonyms, to identify users rather than their real names. Hoffman shut down SocialNet in 1999.
LinkedIn is a professional networking website primarily used by jobseekers and people looking to advance in their career. Hoffman co-founded LinkedIn with Allen Blue, Konstantin Guericke, Eric Ly, and Jean-Luc Vaillant. They created the site in 2002 and publicly launched it on May 5, 2003. Hoffman was LinkedIn's CEO until February 5, 2007, at which point he became the chairman and president of products. Hoffman returned briefly as CEO again on December 17, 2008. On June 24, 2009 he became executive chairman and Jeff Weiner replaced him as CEO. On December 8, 2016, Microsoft purchased LinkedIn for $26.2 billion.
Hoffman became a partner of the venture capital firm Greylock in 2009. He typically invests in early-stage companies.
Hoffman is a billionaire. He ranked as #1580 on Forbes Billionaires 2021 list with a net worth of $2.4 billion. He hosts his own podcast channel called Masters of Scale, in which he discusses different tech start-up tips. Hoffman has written several books, including Blitzscaling, The Start-Up of You, The Alliance, and Masters of Scale.
Hoffman has received several awards for his philanthropy and support of non-profit organizations. He was appointed as an honory CBE (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth II in regards to his services including promotion of businesses from the United Kingdom and his social networking influences. He has also been awarded the "Salute to Greatness" award from the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, a "Visionary Award" from Silicon Valley Forum, and others.
LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman "Success! How I Did It"
Anna Mazarakis, Richard Feloni
November 11, 2017
Masters of Scale, an original podcast hosted by Reid Hoffman