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Anytime you get bought by a big company like Microsoft, there will be concerns around losing your own corporate culture.
Indeed, that was one of the questions LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner had to answer during an all-hands meeting held on Wednesday, two days after the $26 billion acquisition deal by Microsoft was announced, according to a new filing submitted on Thursday.
“The reality is, it shouldn’t change anything. Where we see things in a year or two, this will be what we make of it,” Weiner said. “It is for us to define.”
He added that companies like YouTube, WhatsApp, and Instagram were all able to maintain their specific identities even after getting bought by bigger companies. And as long as LinkedIn keeps doing what it’s been doing so far, the company won’t lose the characteristics that made the company so successful, he said.
Weiner added, referring to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella:
Satya will be disappointed if we are not writing our own rules. And he said it was very straightforward, it was growing LinkedIn and allowing LinkedIn to achieve what it is setting out to achieve. And then he stopped and I think people were waiting for the rest of the answer, and that was it. That was the rationale, because they believe, Satya believes, in what we’re doing.
In fact, one of the things that most impressed Nadella was LinkedIn’s own culture and values, Weiner said. And through the acquisition, he believes that LinkedIn’s culture could carry over to Microsoft and help both companies.
[Nadella] believes that the way in which we approach our business could really be a game changer for them. He’s looking for us to continue doing what we do, and through our interactions, through any collaborations that we elect to pursue, he is optimistic that it is going to carry over. It works in both directions.