Microsoft and LinkedIn on Monday announced they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Microsoft will acquire LinkedIn in an all-cash transaction valued at $26.2 billion, inclusive of LinkedIn’s net cash. As part of the deal, LinkedIn will retain its distinct brand, culture and independence. Jeff Weiner will remain CEO of LinkedIn, reporting to Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. Reid Hoffman, chairman of the board, co-founder and controlling shareholder of LinkedIn, and Weiner both fully support this transaction. The transaction is expected to close this calendar year.
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network and continues to build a strong and growing business. Over the past year, the company has launched a new version of its mobile app that has led to increased member engagement; enhanced the LinkedIn newsfeed to deliver better business insights; acquired an online learning platform called Lynda.com to enter a new market; and rolled out a new version of its Recruiter product to its enterprise customers.
"The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centered on connecting the world’s professionals," Nadella said. "Together we can accelerate the growth of LinkedIn, as well as Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics as we seek to empower every person and organization on the planet."
"Just as we have changed the way the world connects to opportunity, this relationship with Microsoft, and the combination of their cloud and LinkedIn’s network, now gives us a chance to also change the way the world works," Weiner said. "For the last 13 years, we’ve been uniquely positioned to connect professionals to make them more productive and successful, and I’m looking forward to leading our team through the next chapter of our story."