Microsoft’s Acquisition of LinkedIn
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner both announced on December 8, 2016, that the $26.4 billion Microsoft-LinkedIn acquisition was finally completed via their separate blog posts on LinkedIn. Microsoft Corporation, a multinational computer technology corporation, and LinkedIn Corporation, a social networking service, entered into the agreement on June 13, 2016. According to Nadella in an interview, “This is about the coming together of the leading professional cloud and the leading professional network.” In the agreement, Microsoft contracted to pay $196 per share, which was a 49.5% premium on LinkedIn’s closing price Friday prior to the agreement, making it Microsoft’s largest acquisition yet as the software giant, which has its roots in software for personal computers and servers, attempts to integrate itself into the world of social networking.
New Horizons for the Two Leading Corporations in Software and Social Networking
Nadella, in its official announcement of the finality of the deal, stated that he was hoping it will open new horizons for both Microsoft and LinkedIn, with the tech corporation missing out on the consumer web boom and the social network’s rapid devaluation in the stock market. Microsoft is now putting primacy to accelerate LinkedIn’s growth by adding value to its members after LinkedIn’s stock plummeted more than 43% since July 2015. While it bought LinkedIn for $196 per share, it is still a far cry from the latter’s nearly $270 back in early 2015. Despite the acquisition, LinkedIn will still retain its brand, culture, and independence, with Weiner remaining as the social network’s CEO. On the other hand, the recent acquisition can boost the tech giant’s revenue and competitive position, and can ultimately make it become the first digital company to get a trillion-dollar market cap with LinkedIn expediting its shift to enterprise mutually accelerating Microsoft’s growth.
What Users Can Expect from the Microsoft-LinkedIn Integration
The synergy between Microsoft’s Office productivity and LinkedIn’s database is undeniable. In an online posting, the Microsoft CEO assured that the deal would benefit both LinkedIn members and Microsoft customers. With the integration of Microsoft Word with the profile and job search functions of LinkedIn, the social network’s 467 million members can now update their profiles, draft their resumes, and apply for employment using the same software, saving them the trouble of having to do these on different venues. It is also understood that the main reason for the acquisition is to integrate LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator into Dynamics 365, Microsoft’s customer relationship management. Other plans for integration include LinkedIn notifications appearing in Windows Action Center, incorporating LinkedIn’s user identity into Office 365, and building a business news desk across Microsoft’s properties and extend the reach of sponsored content. Nadella also outlined the rest of the first set of integration plan in the same post, which will pan out over the next few months: integrating Enterprise LinkedIn Lookup powered by Active Directory and Office 365, and making LinkedIn Learning available across the Office 365 and Windows ecosystem.