Microsoft Drops Cash to Buy LinkedIn

With E3 kicking off this week, we expected some major gaming-related news from Microsoft — including its updated Xbox One console. But withits own press conference slated for later today, Microsoft kicked thing off with an unexpected bombshell this morning: it’s acquiring LinkedIn. And the price? A cool $26.2 billion USD — all in cash at $196 USD per share.

Given LinkedIn’s growth over the past year, the move makes sense for Microsoft: more than 13 years after it was founded, the professional online network is as big as ever and now boasts over 433 million members while garnering 105 million unique monthly visitors for the likes of its seven million active job listings. Said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella:MicrosoftDrops Cash to Buy LinkedIn

The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centered on connecting the world’s professionals. 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.

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner — who will remain in his role and report to Nadella — added:

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. 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.

According to Microsoft, the acquisition was unanimously approved by the board members of both companies and will close before the end of the calendar year.