Microsoft Acquires LinkedIn in $26.2 Billion Deal

Microsoft announced Monday morning that it has agreed to acquire LinkedIn for $196 per share, or $26.2 billion.

Microsoft announced Monday morning that it has agreed to acquire LinkedIn for $196 per share, or $26.2 billion.

The two companies said in a press release that Jeff Weiner will remain CEO of LinkedIn, reporting to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, and that LinkedIn co-founder, chairman and controlling shareholder Reid Hoffman and Weiner “fully support this transaction.” Weiner, Nadella and Hoffman are pictured below.

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Microsoft and LinkedIn added:

LinkedIn will retain its distinct brand, culture and independence.

The two companies also cited the following growth milestone achieved by LinkedIn over the past year:

  • 19 percent growth year-over-year to more than 433 million members worldwide.
  • 9 percent growth YOY to more than 105 million unique visiting members per month.
  • 49 percent growth YOY to 60 percent mobile usage.
  • 34 percent growth YOY to more than 45 billion quarterly member page views.
  • 101 percent growth YOY to more than 7 million active job listings.

The boards of directors of both companies have approved the deal, and Microsoft and LinkedIn said they expect the transaction to close by year-end.

Weiner said in the press release:

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.

Hoffman added:

Today is a re-founding moment for LinkedIn. I see incredible opportunity for our members and customers and look forward to supporting this new and combined business. I fully support this transaction and the board’s decision to pursue it, and will vote my shares in accordance with their recommendation on it.

And Nadella said:

The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centered 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.

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Weiner added in a blog post:

Today we are excited to share that LinkedIn has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Microsoft. We are joining forces with Microsoft to realize a common mission to empower people and organizations. LinkedIn’s vision–to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce–is not changing and our members still come first.

Our companies are the world’s leading professional cloud and network. This deal will allow us to keep growing, investing in and innovating on LinkedIn to drive value for our members and our customers. Our members will continue to develop their skills, find a job and be great at that job, using our platform. We will continue to help our customers hire top talent, market their brand, and sell to their customers.

The LinkedIn you know and value is only getting better. LinkedIn will retain its distinct brand, culture and independence. We’ve been changing the way the world’s professionals have connected to opportunity for 13 years, and this is an opportunity for us to truly change the way the world works on a massive scale.

He offered even more insight about the deal in his email to LinkedIn employees, which he shared in an influencer post. Highlights follow:

Dec. 15, 2008, marked the first day of the best job I’ve ever had. My rationale for joining LinkedIn was simple: The opportunity to work with Reid Hoffman, a founder I greatly admired and respected; to join an extremely talented and dedicated team; and to massively scale LinkedIn’s membership and business, both of which had the potential to fundamentally transform the way the world connects to opportunity. Never in my wildest dreams, could I have imagined what would happen in the next seven-and-one-half years. Our team has grown from 338 people to over 10,000, our membership from 32 million to over 433 million and our revenue from $78 million to over $3 billion.