LinkedIn CEO gives away his $14 million bonus to employees after its stock collapses

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The latest perk in the newly beleaguered tech industry: taking the CEO's money.

Jeff Weiner, the CEO of LinkedIn, has forfeited his annual $14 million stock bonus and agreed to distribute those shares to employees suffering from financial whiplash after the stock tanked last month, the company confirmed this week.

"Jeff decided to ask the Compensation Committee to forego his annual equity grant, and to instead put those shares back in the pool for LinkedIn employees," Joe Roualdes, a spokesperson for LinkedIn, said in a statement provided to Mashable.

The decision comes nearly a month after LinkedIn released a disappointing holiday quarter earnings report, which prompted skittish investors to abandon the stock, effectively cutting the company's market value in half in a matter of days.

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Weiner soon turned the company's regularly scheduled all-hands meeting into one big pep talk, reminding employees that LinkedIn is still "the same company we were the day before our earnings announcement."

The motivational speech and bonus giveaway are notable reminders that stock prices are more than just vanity metrics for prominent technology companies, despite the usual talking point that executives and employees try to ignore the fluctuations and stay "heads down."

Employees who joined LinkedIn last year may now have stock options that are under water, which hurts LinkedIn's morale and ability to retain promising employees.

Likewise, potential new hires may look at the swooning stock and choose to work at one of the many billion-dollar startups out there that seem on the up-and-up, or publicly traded competitors like Facebook, whose stock is generally trending in the right direction.

Jeff Weiner through his career:

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Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn CEO
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LinkedIn CEO gives away his $14 million bonus to employees after its stock collapses
Jeff Weiner, chief executive officer of LinkedIn Corp., pauses during a Studio 1.0 interview in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016. LinkedIn Corp. operates a social networking website used for professional networking allowing members to post a profile of their professional expertise and accomplishments. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
UNITED STATES - APRIL 18: Jeff Weiner, left, senior vice president of the Network Division at Yahoo! Inc., is interviewed by John Battelle, Web 2.0 Expo program chair, during the Expo in San Francisco, California, Wednesday, April 18, 2007. (Photo by Erin Lubin/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Jeff Weiner, chief executive officer of LinkedIn Corp., speaks during an interview in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Monday, June 21, 2010. Weiner said LinkedIn will use acquisitions to make its professional networking tools more accessible on mobile phones and add features that make the site more relevant to members. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Jeff Weiner, chief executive officer of LinkedIn Corp., arrives for morning sessions at the 28th annual Allen & Co. Media and Technology Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, U.S., on Saturday, July 10, 2010. Allen & Co., the boutique New York investment bank, invites executives from start-ups in media and technology to mingle with bankers and moguls at the event. The mixture, along with presentations trumpeting new business models, has led to acquisitions and investments in the past. Photographer: Matthew Staver/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Jeff Weiner, chief executive officer of LinkedIn Corp., speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2010. The conference concludes today. Photographer: Noah Berger/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Jeff Weiner, chief executive officer of LinkedIn Corp., speaks at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2010. This year's conference, which concludes today, is titled 'Points of Control: The Battle for the Network Economy.' Photographer: Tony Avelar/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Jeffrey 'Jeff' Weiner, chief executive officer of LinkedIn Corp., speaks during a news conference in Mountain View, California, U.S., on Thursday, March 10, 2011. LinkedIn has more than 1,000 employees and 90 million users in more than 200 countries. Members use the site to search for jobs, recruit employees and find industry experts. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
SUN VALLEY, ID - JULY 07: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (L) chats with LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, at the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference on July 7, 2011 in Sun Valley, Idaho. The conference has been hosted annually by the investment firm Allen & Company each July since 1983. The conference is typically attended by many of the world's most powerful media executives. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Jeffrey 'Jeff' Weiner, chief executive officer of LinkedIn Corp., attends the Allen & Co. Media and Technology Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, U.S., on Saturday, July 9, 2011. Media executives are gathering at Allen & Co.'s Sun Valley conference this week looking to shed assets such as the Hulu LLC video website and G4 game channel amid a declining global stock market and slowing economic growth. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Linkedin CEO Jeff Weiner arrives at the Computer History Museum to host a Linkedin town hall meeting with US President Barack Obama September 26, 2011 in Mountain View, California. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Jeffrey 'Jeff' Weiner, chief executive officer of LinkedIn Corp., sits for a photograph during a Bloomberg West television interview outside of the company's headquarters in Mountain View, California, U.S., on Thursday, May 9, 2013. The business-oriented network, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, reported that revenue for the first-quarter of 2103 was $324.7 million, up from $188.5 million in the first quarter of 2012. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Jeff Weiner, chief executive officer of LinkedIn Corp., pauses as he speaks during the BoxWorks 'How Tomorrow Works' event in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014. Box Inc. unveiled Box for Industries, a set of enterprise content collaboration solutions aimed at transforming how businesses across verticals work with information, according to Business Wire. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 08: Judy Smith Founder and President, Smith & Company and Jeff Weiner CEO, LinkedIn attend LinkedIn's CommsConnect NY at Carnegie Hall on May 8, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for LinkedIn)
FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2014 file photo, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner speaks during the company's second annual "Bring In Your Parents Day," at LinkedIn headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. LinkedIn reports quarterly financial results on Thursday, April 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)
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Weiner isn't the only technology CEO forfeiting a portion of his stock to employees in a difficult market.

Jack Dorsey, the CEO and cofounder of Twitter, announced in October that he would give one-third of his sizable stake in the company back to employees in order to "reinvest directly in our people."

Twitter, even more so than LinkedIn, has seen its stock price hit one new all-time low after another in recent months as investors lose confidence in its turnaround plan and shift to safer bets in what has proven to be a very volatile global market overall.

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