LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman has joined Microsoft’s board of directors, he announced in a blog post.
Microsoft bought LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in June 2016.
In his blog entry, Hoffman says his focus on the Microsoft board will be continuing to guide the development of LinkedIn, but also that he will “contribute more broadly as Microsoft deepens its presence in Silicon Valley and continues to weave social, AI, and other technologies into it products.”
Hoffman says the move to Microsoft’s board was the result of conversations he had with LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, and Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates about how he could stay involved after the acquisition closed in December 2016.
Notably, Gates and Hoffman had discussed the possibility of a Microsoft board seat as early as May 9, 2016, when the deal between Microsoft and LinkedIn was only just starting to come together. That conversation was apparently quickly abandoned, as they moved towards a more tactical discussion of how the two companies could fit together.
Hoffman co-founded LinkedIn in December 2002 and served as its first CEO until 2009, when he stepped back and took a role as executive chairman. Hoffman is currently a partner at famed Silicon Valley venture firm Greylock, and will stay on in that role.