Microsoft to acquire LinkedIn for $26b

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Microsoft is set to acquire LinkedIn, the social network for professionals, for $26.2 billion in an all-cash transaction.

The company said that LinkedIn will continue to operate as usual. Jeff Weiner will remain CEO of LinkedIn, reporting to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2016.

Microsoft has acquired a number of businesses since Satya Nadella took up the role of CEO at the company, but this is the first major deal he’s signed in this position.

It’s a smart move for the company, as it strives to solidify its place in the market as the go-to vendor for productivity tools and services. In addition to bringing numerous new capabilities to its Office 365 cloud-based software suite, it acquired calendar app Sunrise and to-do list tool Wunderlist in recent times.

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner said:

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.

It’ll be be interesting to see if Microsoft begins integrating LinkedIn’s social networking and job listing and search capabilities into its software and online services.

I, for one, am hoping that the first order of business is revamping LinkedIn’s famously horrible site design.

Microsoft to acquire LinkedIn on Microsoft News Center

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