CEOs, venture backers lose big as LinkedIn, Tableau shares tumble

Sun Feb 7, 2016 11:00pm EST
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By Luc Cohen

NEW YORK (Reuters) - LinkedIn Corp Executive Chairman Reid Hoffman lost almost half his $2.8 billion fortune on paper Friday as shares of his social media company suffered their largest drop on record. He was not alone in taking heavy losses.

Other executives at LinkedIn, some at business analytics company Tableau Software Inc, and a number of the companies' venture capital backers also took losses running into tens of millions of dollars as both stocks tumbled on dismal financial outlooks.

It was a humbling moment highlighting the personal exposure many technology leaders and venture capitalists face as Wall Street reassesses their value at an uncertain time for the sector.

Silicon Valley-based LinkedIn's shares closed down 43.6 percent at $108.38 on Friday, after hitting a three-year low, following a sales forecast well short of analysts' expectations.

Shares of Seattle-based Tableau Software Inc, a business analytics tools company, fell 49.4 percent to $41.33 after cutting its full-year profit outlook.

As a result, LinkedIn's Hoffman lost $1.2 billion from his value on paper on Friday, slashing his stake to $1.6 billion, based on his holdings detailed in a filing with securities regulators from March, which the company said was the most up-to-date. LinkedIn's Chief Executive Jeff Weiner saw the value of his stake fall by $70.9 million to $91.5 million.

At Tableau, the value of Chief Executive Christian Chabot's stake was slashed nearly in half to $268 million, based on his holdings in a filing with securities regulators in March.

Besides Hoffman and Weiner, several venture capitalists who sit on LinkedIn's board and own stakes in the company suffered substantial losses.   Continued...

The logo for LinkedIn Corporation, a social networking website for people in professional occupations, is pictured in Mountain View, California February 6, 2013.  REUTERS/Robert Galbraith