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October 25, 2016

Microsoft CEO: LinkedIn is ‘a fit with our identity and purpose’

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella outlines the company's innovation roadmap as he talks up the $26.2 billion LinkedIn acquisition.

By Alexander Sword

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has outlined the company’s ambition to become a more innovative company.

Speaking at the Wall Street Journal’s WSJDLIve 2016 conference, Nadella admitted that the company had previously lagged behind on some technology trends.

“We clearly missed mobile,” Mr. Nadella said. “There is no question.”

However, he said that he was keeping the company “on the hunt for the next big category.” He referenced investments in artificial intelligence and augmented reality.

“We want to push to be more of a learn-it-all culture than a know-it-all culture,” Nadella said.

Discussing Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn for $26.2 billion, Nadella said that the company had had plenty of successful acquisitions in the past, including PowerPoint and MineCraft.

Nadella admitted that “acquisitions are tough”, but said that he was confident that the buy of LinkedIn would be a success.

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“One of the things I’m very focused on is whether there is a fit with that sense of identity and purpose,” he said.

“We are a company that works with professionals…it’s about productivity. It fits with the mission.”

LinkedIn

Microsoft is buying social network LinkedIn.

He said that Microsoft will be a responsible custodian of LinkedIn’s data. This has been a point of contention with Salesforce, which had been another suitor for the social network.

According to Bloomberg, Salesforce chief legal officer Burke Norton said that Microsoft’s gaining access to LinkedIn’s data would give Microsoft an “unfair competitive advantage”.

Margrethe Vestager, the European Competition Commissioner, stated on 29 September that the Commission would be looking at whether it needed to more closely examine deals involving large amounts of data.

She said that “companies need to make sure they don’t use data in a way that stops others competing”, but said that holding a large amount of data is not necessarily a problem. She said that her team was “exploring whether we need to start looking at mergers with valuable data involved.”

 

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