LinkedIn, based in Mountain View, California, has over 430 million users (about 25% actually use it on a monthly basis) in 200 countries/territories and averages about 2 new members per second.
So, what does this move mean for Microsoft?
The acquisition gives Microsoft an opportunity to solidify its foothold as the “the world’s leading professional cloud and network”. With the deal, Microsoft gains total access to LinkedIn’s users. If they can successfully help members find jobs, improve the users ability to learn new skills and strengthen LinkedIn’s professional networking capabilities, then they will improve their following and, in turn, rise to the top.
“The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centered on connecting the world’s professionals,” Nadella said. “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.”
Microsoft and LinkedIn hosted a joint conference call with investors on June 13, 2016, at 8:45 a.m. Pacific Time/11:45 a.m. Eastern Time to discuss this transaction. You can listen to the recorded cast here. The call was hosted by Nadella and Weiner, as well as Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood and Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith. The presentation for the cast is available on the Microsoft News Center.
Morgan Stanley is acting as exclusive financial advisor to Microsoft, and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is acting as legal advisor to Microsoft. Qatalyst Partners and Allen & Company LLC are acting as financial advisors to LinkedIn, while Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Professional Corporation, is acting as legal advisor.
LinkedIn will retain its distinct brand. Jeff Weiner will remain CEO of LinkedIn, reporting to Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. Reid Hoffman, chairman of the board, co-founder and controlling shareholder of LinkedIn, and Weiner both fully support the transaction, which is expected to close this calendar year.