In a shock move, Microsoft has today announced that it will purchase business social network LinkedIn in an all-cash deal valued at $26.2 billion.
The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of the 2016 calendar year. Following the conclusion of the deal, LinkedIn's financial results will be rolled into Microsoft's 'productivity and business processes' segment.
"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."
As part of the deal, current CEO Jeff Weiner will retain his title and position, but will report to Nadella. The deal has been given the green light by co-founder, board chairman and controlling shareholder Reed Hoffman, as well as Weiner.
"Today is a re-founding moment for LinkedIn," Hoffman said. "I see incredible opportunity for our members and customers and look forward to supporting this new and combined business."
"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," Weiner said.
"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."
The deal comes just weeks after hackers released the LinkedIn credentials of an estimated 117 million people, obtained from a hack back in 2012.
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Adam Shepherd has been a technology journalist since 2015, covering everything from cloud storage and security, to smartphones and servers. Over the course of his career, he’s seen the spread of 5G, the growing ubiquity of wireless devices, and the start of the connected revolution. He’s also been to more trade shows and technology conferences than he cares to count.
Adam is an avid follower of the latest hardware innovations, and he is never happier than when tinkering with complex network configurations, or exploring a new Linux distro. He was also previously a co-host on the ITPro Podcast, where he was often found ranting about his love of strange gadgets, his disdain for Windows Mobile, and everything in between.
You can find Adam tweeting about enterprise technology (or more often bad jokes) @AdamShepherUK.