Last Updated: December 14, 2023
Info
Category:
Richest BusinessCEOs
Net Worth:
$350 Million
Birthdate:
Jan 24, 1955 (69 years old)
Birthplace:
Hollywood
Gender:
Female
Profession:
Author, Businessperson
Nationality:
United States of America
šŸ’° Compare Lynda Weinman's Net Worth

What is Lynda Weinman's Net Worth and Salary?

Lynda Weinman is an American businesswoman, special effects animator, educator, and author who has a net worth of $350 million. With her husband, she founded the influential online software training website Lynda.com, which was acquired by the online business network LinkedIn in 2015 for $1.5 billion. Weinman has a background in the film industry, and has taught multimedia classes at such schools as UCLA, the American Film Institute, and San Francisco State University.

Lynda was a web design teacher and in 1993 she was looking for a book her students could use as a reference. All she found were technical guides that were too complicated for the average person or a beginner to understand. So, what did she do? She went out and wrote that book, Designing Web Graphics, herself. It was instantly popular. Around the same time, she got an email from the email address [email protected] and wondered if the domain name Lynda was available. It was. She bought it for $35 and used the website as a way to communicate with her students and readers. Two decades later, in 2015, LinkedIn bought Lynda.com for $1.5 billion in cash and stock.

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Early Life and Education

Lynda Weinman was born on January 24, 1955 in Los Angeles, California. For her higher education, she attended the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, graduating in 1976.

Career in the Film Industry

Having taught herself how to use an Apple II computer, Weinman began doing special effects animation for various major motion pictures. She worked for Dreamquest and also did independent contract gigs, lending her skills to such films as "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure," "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier," and "RoboCop 2."

Career in Academia

From 1989 to 1996, Weinman taught digital media and motion graphics courses at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California. She has also taught various multimedia classes at UCLA, the American Film Institute, and San Francisco State University.

Lynda.com

After the success of her book, her husband and cofounder Bruce Heavin got the idea to rent a computer lab at a high school over spring break and to offer a week long web design class. They advertised the class on Lynda.com and weren't sure anyone would be interested. The class sold out and students flew in from as far away as Vienna to take her class.

Those seven-day workshops soon became Weinman and Heavin's bread and butter. They took $20,000 of book royalties to found their web design school. Their training programs sold out months in advance. They had to turn customers away. They grew the web design school to a business with $3.5 million in revenue and 35 employees. Then, in 2001, the dot com crash and 9/11 happened and interest in learning web design fell off. Weinman had to lay off 75% of her staff. She had only nine employees remaining. Weinman and Heavin downsized their home and gave up some of their classroom leases in order to stay afloat. That is when they came up with the idea to put their business online.

In 2001 Lynda.com put up a pay wall and sold a $25 monthly subscription service. Not too many people signed up. With only about 1,000 subscribers to start, Lynda.com was barely surviving. Weinman knew that building an online member base would take time. The first couple of years membership doubled each year. By 2006, it had grown tenfold. When Lynda.com reached 100,000 subscribers, Weinman took all 150 of her employees and their families to Disneyland to celebrate.

Weinman wanted a family feel at Lynda.com. It got harder to know every employee by name as her company grew to more than 500 employees. In 2007, she brought in a CEO to help run the business better.

In early 2013, the company received $103 million in venture capital funding led by Spectrum Equity and Accel Partners. Lynda.com went on to acquire the web companies video2brain and Compilr. In early 2015, it announced that it had raised $186 million in financing, led by TPG Capital.

Massive open online courses (MOOCs) looked like they might threaten Lynda.com's business. She held her ground and continued to offer more courses and subjects. She started with 20 online video courses nearly two decades ago. Now Lynda.com offers 6,300 courses and more than 267,000 video tutorials. By offering a library of courses and videos turned out to be just the thing that kept Lynda.com from being classified as a MOOC.

The site steadily evolved over the years, eventually becoming a subscription-based resource for online software training. Members of Lynda.com could take software and other technology courses in areas such as animation, audio, design, photography, and home computing.

When Weinman heard that LinkedIn was interested in acquiring her company she was shocked. She and her husband were not looking for a buyer and she felt far from ready for retirement. The more she thought about it, however, the more it made sense. Both websites were resources for people trying to advance their careers.

Lynda.com was acquired by the online business network LinkedIn for $1.5 billion. The site was ultimately folded into LinkedIn and renamed LinkedIn Learning.

Getty Images

Other Business Endeavors

In 1999, Weinman and her husband founded the Ojai Digital Arts Center in Ojai, California. Also that year, Weinman's company Lynda.com partnered with United Digital Artists Productions to launch the Flashforward conferences and the Flash Film Festival. The first event focused on the Macromedia Flash software, the Flashforward conferences were held in cities around the world. The Film Festival, meanwhile, presented over 200 awards to Flash sites and applications.

Among her other business endeavors, Weinman has served on some boards, including those of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival; the botanical garden Lotusland; AIGA National; and the Evergreen State College Foundation.

Books

Weinman has authored or co-authored 16 books and various magazine articles over the years focused on different aspects of web graphics. Her first release, "Designing Web Graphics," came out in 1996. Other titles include "Preparing Web Graphics," "Creative HTML Design," and "Adobe After Effects 7: Hands-On Training."

Honors and Awards

As an educator and businesswoman, Weinman has been the recipient of multiple honors. In 1997, she received ArtCenter College of Design's Great Teacher Award, and in 2000 earned the GirlGeeks Golden Horn-Rims Award. Later, in 2010, Weinman was a finalist for Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year Regional Award. The following year, she received the Women of Achievement Award from the Santa Barbara chapter of the Association for Women in Communications.

Personal Life & Real Estate

Weinman is married to Bruce Heavin. The two are active in philanthropy, and have contributed to scholarships and an ongoing endowment at ArtCenter College of Design. Elsewhere, Weinman is the benefactor and namesake of the Lynda Lab, an experimental effects lab in the Center for Creative and Applied Media at her alma mater of the Evergreen State College.

Today, Lynda Weinman makes somewhat of a hobby of buying and selling properties. She picked up her mansion in the prestigious Bird Streets neighborhood of Los Angeles in 2016 for $27 million.

A serious art lover, Lynda's success allowed her to amass a world class art collection, which hangs all over her mansion above the Sunset Strip. Her neighbors include Leonardo DiCaprio, the mansion of the late Stan Lee, Walmart heiress Sybil Robson Orr, and the notorious fugitive Jho Low. This estate is just one in Lynda's more than $70 million property portfolio. She also owns an oceanfront home in Carpinteria, California that she bought for $19 million in 2015 from Dennis Miller. Her neighbors there include George Lucas, Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, and Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis. Weinman also owns a four acre vacant property in Montecito not far from Oprah's house. She bought the land in 2015 for $13.4 million and built a massive custom compound.

She is president of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. She is a major art lover and collector. And, fun fact, her best friend dating all the way back to her college days at Evergreen State College is The SimpsonsĀ creator Matt Groening.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
Did we make a mistake?
Submit a correction suggestion and help us fix it!
Submit a Correction