Bill Gates is a big believer in LinkedIn. The co-founder and former chief executive of Microsoft praised the business-oriented social network, and Microsoft's planned acquisition of it, in an interview this week with Bloomberg TV.
"I think it's a great transaction. LinkedIn brings in a lot. I know Reid Hoffman, Jeff Weiner, the team there have build an incredible audience," he said. "I was very encouraging as that deal came together and glad to see that it really happened."
Microsoft on Monday announced plans to acquire LinkedIn for $196 per share. The deal, expected to be wrapped up later this year, values the social networking site at $26.2 billion. While some critics believe Microsoft is overpaying for LinkedIn, Gates does not agree. "I certainly think the value of the two companies combined is greater than the two by themselves," he said.
Gates, now a "technology advisor" to Microsoft, has high hopes for LinkedIn as the go-to feed for professionals looking for information about their career, their company and their industry. "If we can make that .. as valuable as say ... the Facebook feed in the social world," he said, "that's huge value creation and that'll happen over a period of years."