Microsoft Buys LinkedIn for $26.2bn
(L-R) Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, and Reid Hoffman, chairman of the board at LinkedIn
Microsoft has surprised the tech industry by acquiring work-based social network LinkedIn for $26.2bn (£18.3bn), in a deal expected to complete by the close of the year.
The purchase was announced in a statement from Microsoft that emphasised that current CEO, Jeff Weiner, will remain in place, and that both he and Reid Hoffman, co-founder and chairman of the board, support the deal.
"The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centred on connecting the world's professionals," said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. "Together we can accelerate the growth of LinkedIn, as well as Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics as we seek to empower every person and organisation on the planet."
LinkedIn currently boasts 433m members, and 105m monthly active users, having seen membership grow by 19 per cent year-on-year and mobile usage rise to 60 per cent, up 49 per cent on the previous year. The service has faced criticisms for its mobile version and unfriendly user interface, but has worked to address these with a new mobile app and improved newsfeed launched in the past 12 months.
LinkedIn also recently acquired online learning platform Lynda.com and rolled out a new version of its Recruiter platform to enterprise customers. The platform has 7m active job listings, up 101 per cent year-on-year.
"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," said Weiner. "For the last 13 yers, 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."
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