- Getty Images/Mat Hayward
Microsoft is buying LinkedIn for $26.2 billion, the company announced on Monday.
Microsoft will pay $196 per share for the company.
LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner will remain CEO of the social network for professionals, reporting directly to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
Under the terms of the acquisition, LinkedIn will maintain its “distinct brand, culture, and independence” – similar to how Facebook handled its acquisition of WhatsApp – and Microsoft says LinkedIn cofounder and chairman Reid Hoffman and Weiner “both fully support” the purchase, with both boards signing off.
The deal is expected to be completed this calendar year.
LinkedIn shares jumped more than 47% following the news when the markets opened. Microsoft shares, which were halted in pre-market trading pending the news, have since reopened and fallen about 4%.
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Integrating LinkedIn into existing Microsoft software
“This deal brings together the world’s leading professional cloud with the world’s leading professional network,” Nadella wrote in the email. “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 went on to mention how Microsoft’s Office software suite could be combined with LinkedIn’s network in the future, such as the ability for Microsoft to serve up suggestions for a specialized expert through LinkedIn when its software recognizes you’re trying to complete a specific task.
LinkedIn will also be able to plug into Office to detect the kind of project you’re working on, which the social network will then use to surface relevant articles to infuse into your LinkedIn news feed.
“We are in pursuit of a common mission centered on empowering people and organizations. Along with the new growth in our Office 365 commercial and Dynamics businesses this deal is key to our bold ambition to reinvent productivity and business processes,” Nadella wrote.
“Think about it: How people find jobs, build skills, sell, market and get work done and ultimately find success requires a connected professional world. It requires a vibrant network that brings together a professional’s information in LinkedIn’s public network with the information in Office 365 and Dynamics. This combination will make it possible for new experiences such as a LinkedIn newsfeed that serves up articles based on the project you are working on and Office suggesting an expert to connect with via LinkedIn to help with a task you’re trying to complete.
“As these experiences get more intelligent and delightful, the LinkedIn and Office 365 engagement will grow. And in turn, new opportunities will be created for monetization through individual and organization subscriptions and targeted advertising.”
You can read Microsoft’s full announcement here, or watch Nadella and Weiner discuss the purchase in the video below: