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".

Advertisement - Article continues below

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

"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.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

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".

Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/technology/355248/microsoft-poaches-ex-apple-exec-to-lead-mixed-reality-hardware-division
Technology

Microsoft poaches ex-Apple exec to lead mixed reality hardware division

7 Apr 2020
Visit/mobile/mobile-phones/355239/microsofts-patent-design-reveals-a-mobile-device-with-a-third-screen
Mobile Phones

Microsoft patents a mobile device with a third screen

6 Apr 2020
Visit/business/business-operations/355230/skype-launches-meet-now-calls-which-dont-require-sign-up-or
video conferencing

Skype takes on Zoom with 'Meet Now' video calling feature

6 Apr 2020
Visit/web-browsers/24526/what-is-microsoft-edge
web browser

What is Microsoft Edge? Everything you need to know

2 Apr 2020

Most Popular

Visit/mobile/mobile-phones/355239/microsofts-patent-design-reveals-a-mobile-device-with-a-third-screen
Mobile Phones

Microsoft patents a mobile device with a third screen

6 Apr 2020
Visit/development/application-programming-interface-api/355192/apple-buys-dark-sky-weather-app-and-leaves
application programming interface (API)

Apple buys Dark Sky weather app and leaves Android users in the cold

1 Apr 2020
Visit/software/video-conferencing/355229/zoom-we-moved-too-fast
video conferencing

Zoom CEO admits company "moved too fast" as privacy issues mount

6 Apr 2020