Scuttlebutt: Microsoft Was Once Very Close To Buying LinkedIn For A Couple Billion Dollars

Jeff Weiner Sun Valley Getty / Scott OlsonWe’re told Jeff Weiner would have sold LinkedIn to Microsoft for $US2 billion way back when.

Here’s some fun scuttlebutt we heard this week.

In the years before LinkedIn’s 2011 IPO, Microsoft entered into talks to buy LinkedIn several times.

At one point the deal was close to happening for around $US500 million.

Microsoft’s last offer, in the months before LinkedIn’s IPO, was somewhere close to $US2 billion.

We’re told Microsoft’s (now departed) deal whiz Hank Vigil thought that was a price too dear, and refused to pull the trigger.

Vigil declined to comment, other than to say: “Good luck with your story.” Thank you, Hank.

LinkedIn PR’s response, to paraphrase, has been: Huh. That was a long time ago.


But it’s still interesting, right?

Anyway, today, LinkedIn is a $US25 billion public company.

In some ways, it might still be a great fit for Microsoft.

New CEO Satya Nadella’s whole plan is to re-shape the company around “productivity” and “the cloud.”

Microsoft CEO Satya NadellaMicrosoftLinkedIn would still fit into Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s for the company.

Basically, lots of industries still happily use Microsoft Office applications, and Nadella wants to make those applications and a thousand more available on every device from tablets to conference rooms to phones, powered by Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure.

It would make a lot of sense for your LinkedIn account to be your real-name user ID for all of those applications and services.

It would probably cost Microsoft at least $US35 billion to make that happen today.

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