In a new interview with Bloomberg TV, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates says he was “very encouraging” of Microsoft’s $26 billion LinkedIn acquisition as it came together behind-the-scenes, based on the potential for the two companies to do more together than on their own.
“I think it’s a great transaction. LinkedIn brings in a lot,” says Gates in the interview. “I know Reid Hoffman, Jeff Weiner, the team there have build an incredible audience so combined with what Microsoft does, working with people and productivity, helping professionals communicate. I think there will be a lot of synergies there so I was very encouraging as that deal came together and glad to see that it really happened.”
Asked about the stock market’s tepid reaction to the deal, he said, “I certainly think 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 added, “I mean, the company is expert in software and managing those audiences and it’s great that they now have the opportunity to surprise the world and say ‘Oh my God look this feed, 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.’ If we can make that as, say, valuable as as the Facebook feed in the social world, that’s huge value creation and that’ll happen over a period of years.”
On the potential challenges, Gates said, “Microsoft like most tech companies has had deals that have gone better than others. I think we’ve got good preparation this one, and the nature of the synergy is pretty clear.”
Watch a portion of the interview with Gates by Bloomberg Television’s Erik Schatzker above. The full interview is set to air the week of June 27.