Microsoft’s LinkedIn to Be Like Facebook for Careers, Gates Says

Bill Gates: Very Encouraging of Microsoft-LinkedIn Deal

Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates said he’s enthusiastic about the company’s $26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn Corp., viewing it as an opportunity to build a business network for the working world like Facebook Inc. has created for social communities.

Users should be compelled to say: “This professional feed in LinkedIn, that is how I want to learn about my career, my company, my industry, and I’m going back there,” Gates said in an interview with Bloomberg TV’s Erik Schatzker. “If we can make that as valuable as the Facebook feed in the social world, that’s huge value creation and that’ll happen over a period of years.”

Bill Gates
Bill Gates
Photographer: Chris Goodney/Bloomberg

The purchase is a way for Microsoft, which largely missed out on the consumer web boom dominated by the likes of Google and Facebook, to acquire social tools. Yet the price of the transaction, announced June 13 as one of the largest technology industry deals on record, weighed on Microsoft’s shares earlier this week.

Gates, who remains a board member of Microsoft, seemed unconcerned by the 2 percent decline in the stock since the deal was announced.

“I certainly think that the value of the two companies combined is greater than the two by themselves, but I love the idea that the market wants us to show that,” he said.

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