This story was originally published by Advisor’s sister publication, Maclean’s.
Microsoft Corp. is paying $26.2 billion to acquire LinkedIn as the career-oriented social networking site struggles to overcome weak user engagement, slowing sales and a stagnant share price. But given Microsoft’s track record when it comes to scooping up wayward tech companies, don’t expect a turnaround story for LinkedIn anytime soon—if ever.
The deal, Microsoft’s biggest, is being billed as a way for the lumbering software giant to add to its portfolio of business-oriented software and services like Office365, while also providing it with a foothold in the fast-growing social networking sphere. Since being named CEO in 2014, Satya Nadella has been on a mission to remake Microsoft into a “productivity and platforms” company as the computing world gradually moves away from PCs, which Microsoft long dominated, in favour of mobile devices.
So what, exactly, would LinkedIn, with some 105 million active monthly users, add to Microsoft’s menu? Some say LinkedIn will help broaden and deepen the appeal of Microsoft’s products among business customers. Others believe Redmond, WA-based firm is hoping LinkedIn’s reams of data about people and their employers can be tapped by its Cortana digital assistant to prep Windows 10 users for sales and other meetings. “It sounds smarmy, but a good salesperson will tell you that an emotional connection helps seal the deal,” wrote Mark Hachman, a senior editor at PCWorld.
For LinkedIn, meanwhile, the tie-up mostly offers it a reprieve from competition and angry investors. Earlier this year, LinkedIn’s stock plummeted 43% in a single day after executives released a sales forecast that came in well below expectations.
Read the full story at Maclean’s.