Wow! Microsoft Plans to Acquire LinkedIn

Microsoft Plans to Be the New Owner of LinkedIn via Acquisition

Some big news to start off the week: Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and LinkedIn Corporation (NYSE: LNKD) will soon be joining forces.

Microsoft Plans to Be the New Owner of LinkedIn via Acquisition

Microsoft announced today that it plans to purchase LinkedIn for $196 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at $26.2 billion, which includes LinkedIn’s net cash.

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LinkedIn will remain distinct from Microsoft, and Jeff Weiner will stay on as CEO, reporting to Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, the announcement says.

The acquisition also includes the educational site, which LinkedIn acquired in April 2015.

Microsoft has many good reasons to buy LinkedIn. The network has shown substantial growth since its founding in December 2002 and now numbers 433 million members worldwide. 105 million people visit the site monthly. Recruitment factors in heavily, too, with more than seven million active job listings.

The site has become a mainstay for millions of small business owners and entrepreneurs, who rely on it for professional networking, business development and use LinkedIn for employee recruitment.

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In a memo to Microsoft employees, Nadella said this about the acquisition:

“This deal brings together the world’s leading professional cloud with the world’s leading professional network. I have been learning about LinkedIn for some time while also reflecting on how networks can truly differentiate cloud services. It’s clear to me that the LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business and an impressive network of more than 433 million professionals.”

Nadella views LinkedIn as a vehicle through which Microsoft can grow its Office 365 and Dynamics CRM products. He and Weiner discuss the big announcement further in this video:

“Together we can accelerate the growth of LinkedIn, as well as Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics as we seek to empower every person and organization on the planet,” Nadella said in the announcement.

The transaction has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both LinkedIn and Microsoft and is expected to close before year’s end. LinkedIn’s shareholders still have to voice their approval, however, and it has to pass the muster of certain regulatory bodies and meet other closing conditions before being finalized.

Image: (from Microsoft) CEO Satya Nadella and LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner discuss the acquisition

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Paul Chaney Paul Chaney is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends. He covers industry news, including interviews with executives and industry leaders about the products, services and trends affecting small businesses, drawing on his 20 years of marketing knowledge. Formerly, he was editor of Web Marketing Today and a contributing editor for Practical Ecommerce.

11 Reactions
  1. So, if you don’t use MS products will your resume mysteriously disappear? Given the company’s tendency to control sales volume with engineered obsolescence, it seems like a fair question.

    • Shawn Hessinger

      Thanks for commenting, E.L. It’s certainly fair to ask what Microsoft’s plans might be for the world’s biggest professional networking site. But I also think it’s only fair to point out that Skype users have hardly suffered under the company’s ownership. (It’s a bit early to make an assessment with Nokia.) But in Skype’s case, I wonder if we would have seen a roll out of translation or other new features without Microsoft’s involvement.

      • Skype users have suffered greatly with Microsoft’s paws in the honey jar.

        I have been a Skype user for years, and am now looking elsewhere.

        The Windows software has become very buggy, causing many, many problems. Updates often fail. The iOS software is horrible.

  2. I think you meed 433 million members not just 433.

    • Shawn Hessinger

      Yes, Giselle. You’re right. The word “million” was initially left out when the article first went live. It’s since been corrected. Thanks!

  3. Microsoft just acquired Nokia. And now LinkedIn? It seems that it is buying so many popular businesses lately.

    • Shawn Hessinger

      Not just lately, Aira. Dating all the way back to 1987, Microsoft’s very first acquisition was of a company called Forethought, creator of a presentation software that would eventually be renamed PowerPoint. In 1997, the company acquired Hotmail then in 2011, Skype. These are just some of the high points, of course. (You’ve already mentioned Nokia.) But, for Microsoft, acquisition has long been a path to growth. Whether it is always the best path for every company is something every CEO, entrepreneur or owner must decide for themselves.

  4. Hi, Nadella is doing very well. Microsoft acquiring LinkedIn is not a big deal for microsoft. Now they done it. In future Linkedin Will rock.
    All the very best to Linkedin and Microsoft.

  5. Was Microsoft’s acquisition of Linkedin a successful move ? Yes but acquiring Lynda Linkedin has done good work…..definitely things will get change in the future.

  6. thank you for sharing valuable information Yes but acquiring Lynda Linkedin has done good work…..definitely things will get change in the future.

  7. It is really a good move, as acquiring a company by Linkedin makes Lynda add more value to their existing brand value.