After a rocky year, Microsoft announced Sunday night it would purchase the networking site LinkedIn for just over $26 billion in cash. Overnight, the deal skyrocketed LinkedIn’s stock by nearly 50 percent to $196 per share, as reported by The New York Times.
It’s been a rough few months for LinkedIn. After doing its best to keep the lid on a massive security breach in 2012, the full extent of that breach came to light last month, when it was revealed that 117 million users had their professional accounts hacked — passwords and emails included. At this point, the company still doesn’t know how much data was taken in the initial attack, but even high-profile members like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg were exposed.
The purchase will bring LinkedIn’s existing network of users together and connect them to Microsoft Office products. Users can expect a LinkedIn newsfeed with articles focused on the project they are working on, as well as Office programs suggesting an expert to help with their work via LinkedIn directly. The hope is to expand the sites’ capabilities beyond simply a professional networking service.
“In essence, we can reinvent ways to make professionals more productive while at the same time reinventing selling, marketing, and talent management business processes,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in a statement posted to Microsoft’s website.
The announcement comes just two months after LinkedIn purchased Carpinteria-based startup Lynda.com for $1.5 billion.
LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner imagines his company’s transition more as a partnership, in which the company will remain a “fully independent entity within Microsoft, a model used with great success by companies like YouTube, Instagram, and WhatsApp,” he said in an email posted to LinkedIn.