Big news—this morning Microsoft announced its intention to acquire LinkedIn for $26.2 billion, as part of its Productivity and Business Processes division.
As the largest acquisition of a consumer internet company in history and largest acquisition Microsoft has ever done, this is a huge step for both companies and for the tech industry. I want to take this opportunity to congratulate our friends and partners at LinkedIn and Microsoft on this news. I believe their combination will revolutionize office productivity and how knowledge workers like you and me create, collaborate, and work.
As Microsoft’s Satya Nadella told the Wall Street Journal, this is “the coming together of the professional cloud [Microsoft Office] and the professional network [LinkedIn].” That this deal will pay $196 per LinkedIn share, a 50% premium to LinkedIn’s closing price on Friday is a great testament to LinkedIn’s value and opportunity it provides for the combined entity.
LinkedIn will continue to operate as an independent subsidiary under its current CEO Jeff Weiner, with minimal impact on day-to-day operations in the short term. Longer term, I believe that this acquisition could provide a powerful opportunity to extend LinkedIn’s impact on the daily life of LinkedIn members, as Jeff wrote in his blog post announcement this morning, by “massively scaling the reach and engagement of LinkedIn by using the network to power the social and identity layers of Microsoft’s ecosystem of over one billion customers. Think about things like LinkedIn’s graph interwoven throughout Outlook, Calendar, Active Directory, Office, Windows, Skype, Dynamics, Cortana, Bing and more.” Unquestionably, the addition of LinkedIn’s social and identity graph provides Microsoft with a highly strategic opportunity to continue owning the world’s office worker and productivity applications going forward.
Congratulations again to the LinkedIn and Microsoft teams on this announcement and on their joint mission to empower people and organizations. As a LinkedIn Certified Partner and former Microsoft employee, I look forward to our continued partnership and supporting the combined entity’s ambitious plans to revolutionize office productivity and the knowledge worker.
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