$26 billion is a lot of money for any one company to pay for the acquisition of another. With such a large paycheck heading to LinkendIn, it's understandable that Microsoft would have 26 billion reasons to want to assert its control over the professional social networking service.
However, LinkendIn CEO Jeff Weiner spoke to an audience at the EY Strategic Growth Forum about some reassurances he received from the head man in charge at Microsoft about the company's commitment to treating the deal as independently as possible.
According to Weiner, Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella spoke of the two businesses alignment and similar purpose as being the driving force behind the acquisition.
Microsoft has been coming at it, historically, through its development and offering of software, and now, increasingly the cloud. And we were coming at it through the development of a professional network, and increasingly this economic graph,” said Weiner. “In combination, that is a really unique position to be in, in terms of creating value and unlocking value for all of these members and customers.”
To that end, Weiner has found Nadells' words and Microsoft's actions thus far have reflected a company looking to do things very differently in its recent acquisitions.
He was talking about doing this in a very different way in terms of how Microsoft had done previous acquisitions,” said Weiner, who called the acquisition a “re-founding” moment for LinkedIn. “LinkedIn could continue to focus on growing LinkedIn. He has been true to his word from that very first meeting. Satya has been nothing but authentic and genuine. And everything he has told me in those discussions has been cascaded more broadly to both of our teams repeatedly.”
Geekwire further illuminates on how the acquisition is going for the two businesses that have yet to close in a detailed reporting of the conversations between Nadella and Weiner.
The summation of the report ends with Weiner seeing the deal "progressing wonderfully," while he continues to be impressed by Microsoft's renewed passion and new vision.
It will be an interesting couple of years as Microsoft and LinkedIn become more aligned in their products, services and customer goals in the future.