Well, it's official - after reports on Microsoft purchasing LinkedIn for no less than $26.2 billion have surfaced online earlier today, the tech giant announced its newest acquisition to the public. The aforementioned sum means that the Redmond-based company has paid $196 per share of the business running the most popular professional network on the planet. What prompted Microsoft to spend this insane amount of cash on LinkedIn? And yes, "cash" is to be taken literally in this instance, as the acquisition of LinkedIn was an all-cash deal. While many industry experts will undoubtedly be giving their view of things in the coming days, this question is probably best answered by Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella whose internal email following the purchase of LinkedIn surfaced earlier today.
In the memo, Nadella states that he's excited to officially confirm the acquisition of the "leading professional network" by Microsoft, "the world's leading professional cloud". He notes how this is the largest Microsoft purchase since he became CEO of the Redmond-based company and that this will definitely not only expand Microsoft's potential market but also perfectly aligns with the company's core business and its overall sense of where exactly it belongs in the modern market. Furthermore, Microsoft's CEO explained that this acquisition is another step in the company's endeavors to "reinvent productivity and business processes," i.e. the way people acquire skills, find jobs, and conduct business in general. More specifically, Nadella mentioned the possibility of a LinkedIn newsfeed which displays articles related to something users of its Office 365 package are currently working on, and the Office software itself suggesting LinkedIn experts based on the content created with it. Of course, more targeted advertising is yet another reason Microsoft is happy with the acquisition of LinkedIn. So, after turning into a fully fledged cloud service from a simple set of productivity tools, the next step in the "Office evolution" seems to be LinkedIn integration.
Granted, this evolution is still at least several months away because the acquisition of LinkedIn will take some time to complete, though Nadella stated that he's expecting the deal will be closed by the end of the year. In the meantime, LinkedIn will retain its autonomy which should remain untouched even after it's officially acquired by Microsoft. Jeff Weiner will, therefore, continue his duties as the company's CEO and will apparently have the final say regarding Microsoft services which LinkedIn decides to integrate into its network. As Nadella explains in his internal memo, this is all by design so that the LinkedIn team can remain focused on growing its network while simultaneously working on integrating Microsoft Dynamics' business solutions and Office 365 services. As for the Microsoft side of things, the LinkedIn integration efforts will be led by Kurt DelBene who'll also be cooperating with Scott Guthrie and Qi Lu.