When Jeff met Shannon: How LinkedIn's CEO hired his top PR exec

Shannon Stubo said she initially turned down the top PR job at LinkedIn.

Shannon Stubo
Shannon Stubo

At a recent LinkedIn event geared toward PR pros, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner narrated a charming story of how he came to hire his own top communicator, VP of communications Shannon Stubo.

Stubo had the enviable job of interviewing her boss on stage for LinkedIn’s CommsConnect event, where Weiner was promoting the benefits of the LinkedIn platform for the communications industry. In response to an audience question about what makes an ideal PR executive, Weiner was quick to tout Stubo’s qualities, and then revealed how he got her to join the company.

Stubo, a 20-year Silicon Valley PR veteran, had been heading the comms department at OpenTable in 2010 when she was approached by LinkedIn for a meeting with Weiner.  At the time, Weiner said Stubo was very much in demand, and it was the first time that she was rumored to be seeking other options.

"We met for breakfast, and I was expecting it to be a typical recruitment meeting," said Weiner. "But when we got to talking, I felt like I had known her for years."

At the end of the breakfast, Weiner said, "So you’re doing this right?" assuming that Stubo would readily come on board. However, to his surprise, she played it cool and refused, citing a list of reasons including the commute and spending more time with her family.

Stubo said Weiner was adamant about getting her to take the job, and claimed that he followed her out to her car in an effort to convince her. (Weiner was quick to dispute this, claiming he was just being "chivalrous.")  After much persistence, Stubo accepted the job, going on to lead LinkedIn’s communications through its IPO, and becoming a key advisor to Weiner.

"With Shannon, I knew right away," said Weiner. "The energy I felt that first time has been there every day since then, and I can’t imagine working with someone in such a critical role where that rapport isn’t present."

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