Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella just weighed in on why the company decided to buy LinkedIn for a whopping 26.2 billion in cash--and no, it had nothing to do with spam email. For Microsoft, buying LinkedIn is all about combining social connections (LinkedIn) with a productivity-focused cloud (Office 365 and Dynamics CRM). Or, as Microsoft said in its graphic announcing the acquisition, "creating more connected, intelligent and productive experiences." That may sound like a jumble of buzzwords, but Nadella's letter to Microsoft employees supplies an example of what he envisions. Imagine "a LinkedIn newsfeed that serves up articles based on the project you are working on," Nadella said.
Microsoft has acquired LinkedIn for 26.2 billion, marking one of the biggest tech mergers in recent memory and giving the software giant a firm foothold in the online professional world. The move is easily the largest by Microsoft (it bought Nokia for 7.6 billion in 2013 and Skype for 8.5 billion in 2011), and marks its largest entry into the social media realm (it bought Yammer for 1.2 billion in 2012). LinkedIn was founded in 2002 and grew into the largest professional social network, with 105 million active monthly users and more than 433 million accounts. Microsoft announced the deal in a blog post on Monday morning. In an email to staff, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella touted the pairing as a way to improve both companies by integrating LinkedIn's content and network with Microsoft's cloud computing and productivity tools.
LinkedIn Corp., the professional networking Web site, displays its logo outside of headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. Tech giant Microsoft said Monday that it had reached a deal to acquire professional social networking site LinkedIn for 26.2 billion in cash. The companies said their respective boards had unanimously approved the deal. LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner will keep the title and report to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. "The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centered on connecting the world's professionals," Nadella said in a statement.
Microsoft's announcement, on Monday, that it would purchase LinkedIn--its biggest acquisition ever, at more than twenty-six billion dollars--brought to mind an earlier takeover attempt, almost a decade ago. Back in the mid-aughts, Microsoft's C.E.O. at the time, Steve Ballmer, flew to Palo Alto to try to convince Mark Zuckerberg, the young C.E.O. of Facebook, to let Microsoft buy his company. During Facebook's first couple of years, bigger companies had dismissed it, and social networking in general, as a fad for college kids; Zuckerberg had even admitted that he didn't care how Facebook would eventually make money. But Ballmer, who wanted to catch up to Google in the online-advertising business, was beginning to see Facebook's power. People were signing up for accounts in extraordinary numbers.
Microsoft, on June 13, 2016, announced it was acquiring LinkedIn for 26.2 Billion. LinkedIn, a Social Network for professionals has 433 million users. LinkedIn will keep its branding and product as it comes under the Microsoft Productivity and Business Processes segment. The deal is expected to close by the end of the calendar year. Microsoft's acquisition of LinkedIn is an enterprise platform and services play as Microsoft builds out its services portfolio to connect the Global Digital Workplace.