Mike Smith Is The First Australian CEO In LinkedIn's Influencer Program

ANZ boss Mike Smith. File photo / Getty

ANZ chief Mike Smith has become the first Australian CEO to be inducted into LinkedIn’s influencer program: an exclusive network of about 300 thought-leaders from around the world.

Other influencers are J.P. Morgan boss Jamie Dimon, US President Barack Obama and Virgin founder Richard Branson. The program also includes many journalists and entrepreneurs, including RedBalloon’s Naomi Simson.

Tony Boyd of the Australian Financial Review reports that Smith was not a fan of social media until he and other ANZ executives visited Google, Apple, LinkedIn, IBM, Cisco and Microsoft in Silicon Valley in May.

He said he now believed LinkedIn could help the bank communicate with staff and customers.

“To me [LinkedIn] had a nuisance value and I did not truly appreciate what the network could offer,” he said. “I suppose you could say I had a Road to Damascus conversion.”

“I think it is interesting that since our HR department opened up LinkedIn to staff, about 23,000 people have joined.”

There’s more on the Fin.

Now read: Mike Smith’s first post: You Can Only Understand Another Culture By Living It

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook and Twitter

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.