I think a large part of the tech world was waking up on this Monday morning and preparing for two big tech events today, Apple's WWDC keynote and Microsoft's Xbox E3 presser, which would have been competing for everyone's attention.
However, Microsoft has thrown a wrench into the works with an early morning announcement that they have entered an agreement to acquire the professional network LinkedIn through an all cash deal that will pay LinkedIn $196 per share for a total purchase price of $26.2 billion. The deal is expected to wrap up by the end of this year.
Of course, immediately social media cranked up the jokes about LinkedIn's infamous emails when one user wants to have another user join their professional network but what many are missing is the smorgasbord of data that Microsoft is gaining access to with this transaction.
According to numbers in the press release about this deal, LinkedIn has been seeing steady growth in several key areas:
- 19 percent growth year over year (YOY) to more than 433 million members worldwide
- 9 percent growth YOY to more than 105 million unique visiting members per month
- 49 percent growth YOY to 60 percent mobile usage
- 34 percent growth YOY to more than 45 billion quarterly member page views
- 101 percent growth YOY to more than 7 million active job listings
This purchase is all about the data and what larger insights Microsoft can bring to the members of LInkedIn and to Microsoft's continued embrace of big data.
Shortly after the announcement, Nadella sent an email to the entire Microsoft organization explaining the reasoning behind this move and this is one excerpt that reflects that data driven approach and benefit:
"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 serves 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 for monetization through individual and organization subscriptions and targeted advertising."
This is Satya's biggest deal since he became CEO a little more than two years ago and it is the largest acquisition in the history of the Redmond company. It also comes on the heels of the company having to clean up the final vestiges of the failed Nokia acquisition.
Although Nadella executed the end days of that failed purchase made by the companies previous CEO Steve Ballmer, this acquisition is 100% his and could very well define his legacy as Microsoft CEO.
Currently Microsoft stock is down 4.3% from its Friday close since the news was announced earlier.
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