Microsoft has announced it will acquire LinkedIn, the world’s largest online professional network, for $26.2bn (£18.34bn).
LinkedIn is expected to retain its distinct brand, culture and independence, and Jeff Weiner will remain CEO of LinkedIn, according to Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft.
Nadella adds: “The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centred on connecting the world’s professionals. 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.”
Will McInnes, CMO at Brandwatch, describes the acquisition as “the biggest moment in the history of business social.”
He says: “It opens huge opportunities to mainstream social data into the world’s leading email client and office suite. When social ‘happened’ email was written off as dead, old, over. Of course, it didn’t die – it became supplemented by our social platforms and messaging apps.
“Today is the start of those two distinct worlds becoming one. A big ambitious move, and one that parks a big blue tank on Google, Apple and Facebook’s neatly mowed lawns.
“Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn is fascinating from a CRM and social email POV and a landmark moment in how social data has become a mainstream, every-minute-of-every-day business tool. With a commitment to smart integration post-acquisition, the possibilities are genuinely ground-breaking. Oh, and a small request from every LinkedIn user ever – please invest more in User Experience Design.”
LinkedIn CEO Weiner comments: “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.
“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.”
LinkedIn, which has more than 400 million, aims to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful and transforms the way companies hire, market and sell.