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Satya Nadella’s largest success as Microsoft CEO; Inside GeekWire’s Nice Race; Variety of the Week

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Satya Nadella at Microsoft Ignite 2016, two years into his tenure as Microsoft CEO and a few months after announcing the company’s acquisition of LinkedIn. (GeekWire File Photo / Kevin Lisota)

When Microsoft announced its acquisition of LinkedIn for more than $26 billion five years ago, there was lots of skepticism, and for good reason.

After all, Microsoft was a company known for taking huge write-downs when its biggest acquisitions (aQuantive, Nokia, etc.) failed to live up to expectations.

But that was then, and after becoming the new leader of the venerable software giant, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was taking a different approach, sticking to Microsoft’s strength in business technology by picking up the popular business social network.

It remains the biggest deal in Microsoft’s history, and with that in mind, now it also qualifies as Satya Nadella’s biggest success as Microsoft CEO.

This week, we learned that LinkedIn has joined the ranks of Microsoft’s $10 billion-dollar businesses, crossing that threshold in annual revenue for the first time.

Unfortunately, we still don’t know for sure if LinkedIn is a profitable business, as Microsoft stopped disclosing LinkedIn’s operating profits a couple of years ago. But based on the underlying economics of the business, and the prior trajectory of LinkedIn’s bottom line, it’s a relatively safe bet that it’s operating in the black.

We discuss the LinkedIn deal, five years later, in the second segment of this week’s GeekWire Podcast.

My colleague John Cook and I are back in the GeekWire studio at our offices in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood for the first time in 18 months, along with podcast producer Curt Milton.

We start with a behind-the-scenes discussion of GeekWire’s Great Race II, and conclude with a new feature, Number of the Week, plucked from our local coffee giant’s latest results.

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Listen above, or subscribe to GeekWire in any podcast app.

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