LinkedIn appoints new board member

SAN FRANCISCO Mon May 17, 2010 10:58pm BST

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner displays a chart of graphics during the Reuters Technology Summit in San Francisco, May 17, 2010. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner displays a chart of graphics during the Reuters Technology Summit in San Francisco, May 17, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Robert Galbraith

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - LinkedIn, the networking site aimed at professionals, is appointing the chief marketing officer of Netflix Inc (NFLX.O), Leslie Kilgore, as its second independent board director, Chief Executive Jeff Weiner said on Monday.

The site, which has more than 65 million members, is among the Web's fastest-growing social networking sites along with Facebook and Twitter, fueling speculation that it is positioning itself for an initial public offering.

An IPO "is not in the front of mind," Weiner told the Reuters Global Technology Summit in San Francisco on Monday.

With most of the roughly $76 million in venture funding that LinkedIn raised in 2008 still in the bank, the company has capital on hand to shop for acquisitions. Weiner said LinkedIn was primarily looking for deals that could provide important technology or deals that provide "talent" to fill out the company's ranks.

"Anything that's going to enable us to extract the right data and make that data usable is going to be of interest to us," Weiner said, referring to the types of technology in which LinkedIn has interest.

He noted that any deals at this stage would be "smaller acquisitions," which he defined as companies whose employees number in the "tens of people."

LinkedIn will have 900 employees by the end of the year, up from about 500 at the start of the year, said Weiner, who took the helm of the Mountain View, California-based firm in June 2009.

The service is currently adding one new member a second, said Weiner, with more than half of its users now in overseas markets.

Kilgore is the second independent director on the six-strong board after LinkedIn appointed Skip Battle, former Ask.com chief executive and also a Netflix director, to its board last month.

(Reporting by Bill Rigby and Alexei Oreskovic, editing by Bernard Orr and Matthew Lewis)