Microsoft has entered a definitive agreement to acquire LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network.
The deal, worth a reported US$26.2 billion, has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors from both LinkedIn and Microsoft, and is set to close later this year subject to approval from shareholders.
LinkedIn’s business has grown substantially in recent times, with a 19% growth year over year to more than 433 million members worldwide, a 9% growth to more than 105 million unique visiting members per month, and a 49% growth to 60 percent mobile usage.
“The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centered on connecting the world’s professionals,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. “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.”
The company has recently launched a new version of its mobile app which has helped increase member engagement. Similarly, the LinkedIn newsfeed has been enhanced to deliver better business insights, while the company has also acquired online learning platform Lynda.com and rolled out a new version of its recruiter product to enterprise customers.
LinkedIn’s CEO Jeff Weiner will remain in his position, but will now report to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
“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 years, 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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