Salesforce considered LinkedIn purchase

CEO Mark Benioff confirms it was a potential rival bidder to Microsoft

Marc Benioff

Salesforce attempted to buy LinkedIn before the company was acquired by Microsoft, according to reports.

Citing "people familiar with the matter", Bloomberg describes the cloud services company as "a potential rival bidder for LinkedIn ... in the process leading up to the professional networking website's acquisition by Microsoft".

A Salesforce spokeswoman told initially told IT Pro the company has "no comment on market rumours or speculation".

However, it has since become apparent that Salesforce's chief executive, Mark Benioff, told Recode the essentials of the story are true.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

"It's the season of M&A ... We gave [LinkedIn] a solid look," Benioff said. "We are always looking to help our customers in new ways."

He also confirmed that Goldman Sachs acted as the banker during negotiations, but declined to go into details as to how far they went.

LinkedIn was ultimately bought by Microsoft for $26.2 billion, the biggest deal in its history and nearly 10 times the amount Apple paid for Beats Electronics, which is, to date, its largest acquisition.

Microsoft is expected to use LinkedIn to bolster its Office 365 and Dynamics offerings but, had Salesforce won the deal, it would have been a rather different story.

Indeed, Recode claimed that, according to sources, Salesforce was most interested in what LinkedIn is best known for -- its recruiting business, which brings in most of its revenue.

Bloomberg, meanwhile, speculated that Salesforce "could have used LinkedIn's vast trove of data on workers around the world to bolster tools that help customers close sales deals".

Featured Resources

How inkjet can transform your business

Get more out of your business by investing in the right printing technology

Download now

Journey to a modern workplace with Office 365: which tools and when?

A guide to how Office 365 builds a modern workplace

Download now

Modernise and transform your sales organisation

Learn how a modernised sales process can drive your business

Download now

Your guide to managing cloud transformation risk

Realise the benefits. Mitigate the risks

Download now


cloud computing

Microsoft has an edge on AWS, according to IT executives

8 Jan 2020

The IT Pro Products of the Year 2019: All the year’s best hardware

24 Dec 2019

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 13in review: Almost the perfect laptop

6 Dec 2019

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15in review: Ryzen falls

4 Dec 2019

Most Popular


How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi

5 Feb 2020

The top ten password-cracking techniques used by hackers

10 Feb 2020
Microsoft Windows

Windows 7 bug blocks users from shutting down their PCs

10 Feb 2020

Coronavirus starts to take its toll on the tech industry

6 Feb 2020