Microsoft has reached a deal to acquire social media platform LinkedIn for $26.2 billion. The acquisition was unanimously approved by both companies’ boards, and the deal is expected to close by the end of the year. The acquisition is still subject to approval by LinkedIn shareholders and regulators.
Jeff Weiner will stay on as CEO of LinkedIn and will report to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. “It didn’t take long before the two of us realized we had virtually identical mission statements,” Weiner said in an email to LinkedIn employees that was also published online. “For LinkedIn, it was to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful, and for Microsoft it was to empower every individual and organization in the world to achieve more. Essentially, we’re both trying to do the same thing but coming at it from two different places: For LinkedIn, it’s the professional network, and for Microsoft, the professional cloud.”
Weiner said that the only change for employees will be for those who handle LinkedIn’s status as a publicly traded company. “We'll be helping you find your next play,” Weiner said.
In the 2015 State of the Industry, 27% of distributors reported that they rely upon social media as a source for finding new business. LinkedIn measured as the most used social media platform with 84% of distributors using it for business purposes. Furthermore, 21% of distributors reported that they use LinkedIn on a daily basis.
Chris Faris, president and CEO at Boost Promotions (asi/142942), fits in that 21%. “Those are warm leads,” Faris told Counselor. “I see who my contacts are connecting with and I’ll ask them, ‘Do you really know so-and-so? If so, can you give me an intro?’ I don’t LinkedIn with anybody I don’t know. It makes my network reliable.”
Shares of LinkedIn skyrocketed 47% after the announcement while Microsoft’s stock was down 3.2 %. LinkedIn, which has more than 400 million members, acquired online education company Lynda.com last April. Weiner said that six of the top 25 most popular Lynda.com courses are related to Microsoft products.