Microsoft has today announced that it is buying professional networking service site LinkedIn in a deal worth $26.2 billion.
Under this deal, which is being supported by Reid Hoffman, chairman of the board, co-founder and controlling shareholder of LinkedIn, and Weiner, LinkedIn will retain its distinct brand, culture and independence. Jeff Weiner will remain CEO of LinkedIn, but will be reporting to Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft.
The acquisition deal is expected to close at the end of this calendar year meaning by January next year, LinkedIn will be fully owned by Microsoft.
“The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centered on connecting the world’s professionals,” Nadella said. “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.”
“Just as we have changed the way the world connects to opportunity, this relationship with Microsoft, and the combination of their cloud and LinkedIn’s network, now gives us a chance to also change the way the world works,” Weiner said. “For the last 13 years, we’ve been uniquely positioned to connect professionals to make them more productive and successful, and I’m looking forward to leading our team through the next chapter of our story.”
The transaction has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both LinkedIn and Microsoft.
“Today is a re-founding moment for LinkedIn. I see incredible opportunity for our members and customers and look forward to supporting this new and combined business,” said Hoffman. “I fully support this transaction and the Board’s decision to pursue it, and will vote my shares in accordance with their recommendation on it.”
This acquisition would be Microsoft’s biggest acquisition since Nadella took over as CEO two years ago. It will be very interesting how this partnership between the world’s leading professional cloud and world’s leading professional network will offer.