Steve here, filling in for Jessica this week. In the past few days, I’ve talked to a lot of people about Microsoft’s $26.2 billion deal to buy LinkedIn. One thing has become clear. Talk about the potential benefits of integrating LinkedIn’s huge set of data with Microsoft’s workplace software sounds promising. But the talk is also incredibly fuzzy.
And whether the deal succeeds depends on how well LinkedIn culturally melds with the rest of Microsoft. That’s always an issue with big mergers, of course. Some infamous combinations have been undermined by cultural clashes (think AOL-Time Warner, HP-Compaq). Microsoft and LinkedIn operate very differently in certain respects, most obviously in their dealings with outside developers. A good indicator will be whether LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, who will report directly to Satya Nadella, sticks around long term.