LinkedIn Gets Its First In-House Investor Relations Officer


[credit provider=”LinkedIn via flickr”]

Matt Sonefeldt, a former buy-side analyst from Capital Research, has taken the IR reins at LinkedIn, one of the highest profile social media IPOs this year.

Sonefeldt was named manager of Investor Relations last week, reporting to chief financial officer Steve Sordello.

Though new to IR, Sonefeldt brings six and a half years of experience dealing with IROs at the dozens of large-cap tech and semiconductor companies he followed as a buy-side analyst supporting three portfolio managers at Capital Research.

‘I very much understand the [IR] role as a consumer,’ he says. ‘I feel I can bring a strategic perspective as an investor. I’m sitting here as if I were still on the buy side… really trying to understand what makes this business grow going forward… understanding what the competitive dynamics and opportunities are.’

Sonefeldt says he made the switch from the buy side to a corporate role because he ‘wanted to have a much better understanding of how companies work from the inside’.

Leveraging his San Francisco Bay Area location, he networked with several companies looking for ‘a good opportunity and a company aligned with my values’. This lead to Sonefeldt joining the professional networking site in July as manager of financial planning and analysis.

A graduate of UCLA, Sonefeldt received his MBA from the Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco.

Prior to becoming an analyst, he also worked as an elementary school teacher at the Paschal Sherman Indian School in Washington State as part of AmeriCorps, a federal community service program.

IR consultant Marilyn Lattin, head of Menlo Park-based IR firm Investor Communications, managed the IR duties during the IPO process. The company had been looking for an IRO prior to its mid-May debut, but ‘couldn’t find the right fit for the organisation,’ she says.

The IPO brought ‘a tremendous amount of visibility for the company – we’ve been pretty busy in IR,’ she adds.
LinkedIn saw its share price more than double on its first day of trading in May, recalling memories of the dot com bubble of the late 1990s.[Article by Brad Allen, Inside Investor Relations]