Microsoft Just Bought LinkedIn… Holy Crap!

By: Viveka Monday June 13, 2016 comments Tags: LinkedIn, LinkedIn News, Microsoft, Viveka von Rosen, LinkedIn Expert

A Good Thing or a Bad Thing?

Holy Moly! This is what I woke up to this morning: “Microsoft and LinkedIn Corporation on Monday announced they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Microsoft will acquire LinkedIn.” At $196 a share… That should help LinkedIn’s stock! (A little like Oprah investing in Weight Watchers!) Grand total? A little over 26 BILLION! (Yes, that’s a B!)  That works out to about $60 a user/  Not a bad CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost) if you think about it for Microsoft! And if we are talking CLV (Customer Lifetime Value) it could be a very good deal indeed!

Included in the price… Lynda and Slideshare. 

According to Microsoft, "things" should take effect by end of year....  But just what are those things?  Of course, I am hoping LinkedIn reverts back to the old days when we had Signals and Metrics and more freedom to search and engage with people.  Lately, it's been almost impossible to get things done with all the restrictions and 403 messagesflying around!

Apparently Jeff Weiner will remain CEO of LinkedIn, reporting to Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. (I was kinda hoping the announcement of someone new who could fix a lot of the issues LinkedIn has had this year…)

Check out this video of Satya Nadella and Jeff Weiner on Microsoft acquiring LinkedIn

 Or click here:

I thought this was interesting too:

Here's the letter Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sent to employees about the buy:

I'm excited to share that today Microsoft announced a deal to acquire LinkedIn. You can see how Jeff Weiner, the CEO of LinkedIn, and I envision the opportunity ahead in this public presentation.

It continues.... (emphasis mine)

"This deal brings together the world's leading professional cloud with the world's leading professional network. I have been learning about LinkedIn for some time while also reflecting on how networks can truly differentiate cloud services. It's clear to me that the LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business and an impressive network of more than 433 million professionals.

Given this is the biggest acquisition for Microsoft since I became CEO, I wanted to share with you how I think about acquisitions overall. To start, I consider if an asset will expand our opportunity — specifically, does it expand our total addressable market? Is this asset riding secular usage and technology trends? And does this assetalign with our core business and overall sense of purpose?

The answer to all of those questions with LinkedIn is squarely: YES. We are in pursuit of a common mission centered on empowering people and organizations. Along with the new growth in our Office 365 commercial and Dynamics businesses, this deal is key to our bold ambition to reinvent productivity and business processes. Think about it: How people find jobs, build skills, sell, market and get work done and ultimately find success requires a connected professional world. It requires a vibrant network that brings together a professional's information in LinkedIn's public network with the information in Office 365 and Dynamics. This combination will make it possible for new experiences such as a LinkedIn newsfeed that serve up articles based on the project you are working on and Office suggesting an expert to connect with via LinkedIn to help with a task you're trying to complete. As these experiences get more intelligent and delightful, the LinkedIn and Office 365 engagement will grow. And in turn, new opportunities will be created formonetization through individual and organization subscriptions and targeted advertising.

Jeff and I both believe we have a significant opportunity to accelerate LinkedIn's growth and the value it brings to its members with Microsoft's assets and scale. In fact, when Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn, and I spoke about the opportunity for us to come together, he called it a "re-founding" moment for LinkedIn and an opportunity to reach the mission the company set out on 13 years ago.

The opportunity for Office 365 and Dynamics is just as profound. Over the past decade, we have moved Office from a set of productivity tools to a cloud service across any platform and device. This deal is the next step forward for Office 365 and Dynamics as they connect to the world’s largest and most valuable professional network. In essence,we can reinvent ways to make professionals more productive while at the same time reinventing selling, marketing and talent management business processes. I can't wait to see what our teams dream up when we can begin working together once the deal closes, which we expect will happen this calendar year.

A big part of this deal is accelerating LinkedIn's growth. To that end, LinkedIn will retain its distinct brand and independence, as well as their culture which is very much aligned with ours. Jeff will continue to be CEO of LinkedIn, he'll report to me and join our senior leadership team. In essence, what I've asked Jeff to do is manage LinkedIn with key performance metrics that accrue to our overall success. He'll decide from there what makes sense to integrate and what does not. We know that near term there will be no changes in who reports to whom so no reporting relationships at Microsoft will change in that regard. This approach is designed to keep the LinkedIn team focused on driving results while simultaneously partnering on product integration plans with the Office 365 and Dynamics teams. During the integration, we'll pick key projects where we can go deep together that will ultimately result in new experiences for customers. Kurt DelBene will lead the overall integration efforts at Microsoft in close partnership with Qi Lu and Scott Guthrie."

You can read original articles here:

So what do you all think?

I’ve talked to many of my Silicon Valley friends and most think this is a great move. It buys LinkedIn more resources… and my hope is that means we’ll get many of those great services we have lost over the years back! (Signals and Update Analytics anyone?)

Maybe a better CRM?  Maybe MS will buy SalesForce too and we can have one big giant happy package for a low low price (a girl can dream you know!)

Also, my guess is that LinkedIn will start building its User Interface first on the Microsoft platform and THEN on Apple  :)

Share your thoughts in comments below! 


About the Author: Viveka

Viveka is author of LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day and is known internationally as the “LinkedIn Expert”.
CEO of Linked Into Business, she also hosts the biggest LinkedIn chat on Twitter.  Forbes has listed her as a top social media influencer for three years running, and she has been cited in Ragan, CNN, Forbes, Mashable, Simple Living, Bloomberg, LinkedIn's Small Business Site and "The Sophisticated Marketer's Guide to LinkedIn, The Miami Herald, Social Media Today and The Social Media Examiner!

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