Mint Quick Edit | Who owns LinkedIn: Bill Gates? Satya Nadella? Ryan Roslansky?

The company is said to be pleading not guilty.
The company is said to be pleading not guilty.


  • Many managers in LinkedIn’s management hierarchy all the way to the US, including platform-owner Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella, were fined by the registrar under India’s corporate affairs ministry for failing to comply with ‘significant beneficial owner’ (SBO) rules. Who might its SBOs be?

Who would one associate Microsoft’s ownership with? Nine people out of 10 would think of Bill Gates. He founded the company, after all, though he owns only a tiny slice of it today, with over two-thirds held by institutions. In 2016, Microsoft bought LinkedIn. 

Imagine Microsoft chief Satya Nadella’s surprise, then, when India’s registrar of companies (RoC) under the ministry of corporate affairs chose to fine him, LinkedIn’s global CEO Ryan Roslansky and seven other executives 27.1 lakh for failing to disclose their names as significant beneficial owners (SBOs) of LinkedIn Technology Information Pvt Ltd under Indian rules. The company is said to be pleading not guilty. These individuals, it avers, are doing professional jobs at the board’s pleasure that can be terminated. 

The RoC’s logic is that SBOs are those who wield significant control and LinkedIn’s management hierarchy qualifies. If Microsoft’s top brass is baffled, it’s because “controlled companies" (a US term) are not only the norm in India, who holds this control is important data. This muddle over SBOs and the irony of Gates escaping the label should remind us how US and Indian capitalism differ.

Also read: LinkedIn reviewing order after RoC fines it for allegedly violating beneficial-owner rules

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