In an all cash transaction valued at $26.2 billion, Microsoft has announced the purchase of the social networking site for professionals, LinkedIn. In the deal, LinkedIn will keep their own brand and remain independent with current CEO Jeff Weiner reporting directly to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
The deal will close later this year and has met with unanimous approval from the boards of both companies. With Nadella’s first big purchase, Microsoft is hoping to combine the world’s leading professional cloud with the world’s leading professional network.
While Microsoft’s plans are unclear, with more than 433 million people worldwide using LinkedIn, it’s likely they will use it to get a foot in the door of social networking. Despite having invested in Facebook early on and buying Yammer for $1.2 billion four years ago, Microsoft has struggled to develop its social networking presence.