LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman wrote a blog post today announcing he has joined the board of directors at Microsoft. The announcement comes after Microsoft acquired LinkedIn in a $26.3 billion deal last year. Hoffman will continue to focus on the social network, while also expanding Microsoft connections in Silicon Valley.
Hoffman has not discussed Microsoft’s acquisition of the company in-depth. He was an important part of the network’s growth and in paving a path to the merger. In the new blog, he says the network has been about opening a global workforce to opportunity.
He suggests this links well with Microsoft’s ambitions. Hoffman says the company’s professional cloud services help organizations grow. By using productivity platforms, Microsoft is as synonymous with enterprise as LinkedIn.
To start his blog, Hoffman says he is using a Surface Studio to manage is LinkedIn profile. He adds that using Microsoft’s PC with the social network results in a “delightful symmetry”.
The internet entrepreneur also explains why he is joining Microsoft’s board of directors:
“The reasons the merger made sense in general are also why I’m joining Microsoft’s board. From this position, I will continue to focus on helping LinkedIn fulfill its mission of increasing the economic productivity of individual professionals and the companies they work for. I’ll also contribute more broadly as Microsoft deepens its presence in Silicon Valley and continues to weave social, AI, and other technologies into it products.”
Maintaining LinkedIn Connections
Hoffman admits he has not been a LinkedIn employee since 2009, although he was Chairman of the Board. While Microsoft will allow the network to function as an independent division, the company now serves as LinkedIn’s board.
Conversations with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and founder Bill Gates led to Hoffman accepting a position on Microsoft’s board. He says the office he has maintained at LinkedIn will continue to be his base within the company.
“And just as I participated in a material way in the development of key initiatives such as LinkedIn China, our ProFinder professional services platform, and the acquisition and strategic development of our educational platform, Lynda.com, I will play an ongoing and comprehensive role in LinkedIn as it continues to grow. I’m also looking forward to getting to know employees who have been doing important work at Microsoft and, in particular, working closely with Satya who’s done a terrific job in his first 3 years as CEO.”