PhotoMicrosoft is buying LinkedIn for about $26 billion, the companies announced today. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said LinkedIn will "retain its distinct brand, culture and independence," with Jeff Weiner remaining as CEO.

“The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centered on connecting the world’s professionals,” Nadella said. “Together we can accelerate the growth of LinkedIn, as well as Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics as we seek to empower every person and organization on the planet.”

The transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of both LinkedIn and Microsoft and is expected to close this year.

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with more than 433 million members. About two-thirds of its revenue comes from its talent solutions divison, used by corporate recruiters to identify prospective employees.

“Just as we have changed the way the world connects to opportunity, this relationship with Microsoft, and the combination of their cloud and LinkedIn’s network, now gives us a chance to also change the way the world works,” Weiner said. “For the last 13 years, we’ve been uniquely positioned to connect professionals to make them more productive and successful, and I’m looking forward to leading our team through the next chapter of our story.”

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