Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference - Jeff Weiner
Who:Jeff Weiner, CEO, LinkedIn
When:Wednesday, February 14, 2018
HEATHER BELLINI:All right.Good afternoon, everybody.Thank
you for joining us.I’m going to read a
brief Safe Harbor before we get going and do the introduction.
we begin, Microsoft may make some forward-looking statements during this
presentation, and you should refer to their SEC filing for the risk factors
relating to their business, and that’s true whether you’re here in person or
listening on the webcast.
we got the legal part of it out of the way.
the slide says Microsoft, but we’re actually here to talk about LinkedIn, and
how the acquisition is working out.And
we’ve got Jeff Weiner, who is no stranger to this stage.He’s been at every one of the Goldman Sachs
Tech Conferences since LinkedIn went public.He is the Chief Executive Officer of LinkedIn.And I think he’s got some really interesting
stuff to share, so thank you, Jeff, for coming.
JEFF WEINER:Thanks for having me.
HEATHER BELLINI:So I guess, for those who are newer to the
story, can you give us a brief overview of kind of what brought the two
JEFF WEINER:So when Satya and I first sat down to talk
about ways in which Microsoft and LinkedIn could work together, there were a
number of commercial areas that we thought might make sense.And as the conversation continued, it became
clear that --
HEATHER BELLINI:This was a partnership, though, right?You started out thinking about it --
JEFF WEINER:We didn’t sit down and immediately start
talking about M&A.I think we had
always to some extent been on Microsoft’s radar I think going way back,
pre-dating Satya.And the conversations
never really materialized and amounted to much outside of having a good working
relationship.And similarly when we
first sat down, Satya and I, it was a discussion about commercial opportunities
and ways in which we could potentially partner.And the longer the list grew, the more the conversation kind of shifted
and morphed into should we talk about what it would mean to combine entities.
as that conversation progressed, we both agreed that it would only make sense
to continue the conversation and get more serious if we had alignment on at
least two dimensions. One was the sense
of purpose that drove the companies, and the other was structure,
organizationally how this would work.
on the subject of focus it was interesting, because after Satya became the CEO
of Microsoft, Satya and the leadership team actually revised the mission
statement for the company, which is now to empower every individual and
organization on the planet to achieve more, and that’s actually quite similar
to our mission statement, which is connect the world’s professionals to make
them more productive and successful.
the words are a bit different, but fundamentally we’re trying to do the same
thing, we’ve just gone about it very differently.Microsoft through their software and
increasingly the cloud, and LinkedIn through our professional network, but
there’s very strong alignment in terms of the impact we believe these companies
and these assets can have on LinkedIn’s membership, on Microsoft’s customer
base, and really the responsibilities that both companies have in the world given
the times that we live in in terms of not only increasing productivity but
ensuring that every member of the global workforce has access to economic
opportunities.Something that is
codified in LinkedIn’s vision statement and I know something that Satya and the
leadership team at Microsoft also believe very, very strongly in.
under Satya’s leadership Microsoft has become increasingly purpose driven, and
it’s something that comes very naturally to him, is very authentic, and I would
say the same of the entire leadership team at Microsoft.And that was a learning for me.I wasn’t as familiar with that sense of
purpose prior tositting down with
him.So we had alignment on that front,
surprisingly strong alignment.
we turned the discussion towards how this would be structured, and I had no
idea what he was going to propose.I had
no idea what he was going to say.And it
may have been relocating the company up to Redmond, and asking me to move up
there, and I had no idea.And he said, I’ve
been giving this a lot of thought in terms of how we would potentially
structure an acquisition of this kind of scale and scope.And he said, I want to try things
differently.And I’d like for LinkedIn,
if it’s going to materialize, turning independent.
I half-jokingly said, you had me at independent.And the model was really, if you take a look
at the success that Facebook has had with Instagram, that Google has had with
YouTube, and those companies and organizations have operated almost entirely independent.I think today, many, many years later,
YouTube is probably a bit more integrated into the way Google is overseen.But for years it operated as a completely
independent entity. And that’s still the case today, for the most part, with
Instagram.And they both have had
extraordinary success post-acquisition.
in our case, Instagram had something on the order of 13 employees at the time
of the acquisition.And YouTube was
probably several hundred.We had 11,000
employees, and it was a more mature company in terms of the number of years
that we had been around.So there was
some question as to whether or not that kind of independence model would work
at our scale and with a company that had been established for as long as we had
at the time of the announcement.
Satya was true to his word.He’s been
true to every word we discussed that day and then some in terms of his level of
conviction around not only independence but how we prioritize at LinkedIn
post-acquisition, which starts with growing LinkedIn, it’s to accelerate the
realization of our mission, our vision, our core objectives, and to do it in a
way that’s consistent with the way the business has been operated to ate.We have the same mission, the same vision,
the same culture, the same values, the same leadership team.And the objectives have grown over time with
some of the success that we’ve had, but it’s to a large extent the same
that level of independence post an acquisition like this, it takes a lot of
work, but not necessarily in the way people think of work and rolling up your
sleeves and initiatives and so forth and so on.I can get to that a little bit later, but this was work in terms of
communication cascading and maintaining consistency and alignment.
it requires tremendous conviction and not erring from that.And, by the way, that’s not just coming from
Satya and Microsoft leadership.Interestingly enough, it’s coming from me and LinkedIn’s leadership,
because people on our team have certain expectations of how this would
operate.And when they were meeting with
their Microsoft counterparts, just assuming at times that they should be
prioritizing differently.So we constantly
have to reinforce the importance of operating independently, and continuing to
pursue the objectives that we had always laid out for the company.
so you fast-forward, we announced it was June 13, 2016; we closed I think it
was around December 8th, 2016, closed officially.So now we’re 14 months into this, an we’re
pleased with the results.We had very
high hopes and expectations going into it, and it’s exceeded those
HEATHER BELLINI:Can you share a little bit, I think Satya
took a different tact when the acquisition happened, I thought it was really
interesting what you were sharing last week when we spoke about how he talked
to you about how the integration would go, can you share his strategy behind
JEFF WEINER:Yes.This was a page out of a playbook that I was not familiar with, to put
it mildly.So we’ve done a lot of
M&A at LinkedIn, and I started at Yahoo! in Corp Dev, so I’m fairly
familiar with different M&A models and integration models.But about a week after the announcement back
in June of 2016, Satya sent me an e-mail and said, I’ve been giving a lot of
thought to how we’re going to handle the integration.And while traditionally there are two
integration teams, one from the acquired company, one from the acquiring
company, and the acquired company’s integration team will typically answer to
the acquiring company.It’s just how it
works.There’s no surprise there.He said, I would like to do things a bit differently
in this case.I would like for there to
be one acquisition integration team and I would like you to oversee it.
I think I probably did that literally as I read that e-mail, and then I had to
re-read it a couple of times to make sure I was interpreting it right.And then I still wasn’t certain, so I gave
him a call and said, I just want to make sure I understand what you’re
saying.Are you asking me to oversee the
acquisition integration?And he said,
yeah.Like I said, I would like to try
things differently.And I think you are
in a position where you know what’s best for LinkedIn, and I’d like you to help
coordinate and oversee a singular team comprised of executives and employees
from both companies.And I said, you got
it, sure.I’d be happy to.
he’s pulled other pages from a playbook that for me at least is somewhat
unprecedented in a deal like this.Our
head of technology, a guy named Kevin Scott, had been an intern a Microsoft a
couple of decades ago, a really talented guy.And after the acquisition was announced, we were talking about career
pathing, and he said, you know, it would be literally a dream come true if I
had the opportunity to be the CTO of Microsoft.And he said do you think something like that would be possible?And I said there’s only one way to find out.
it turned out that Satya was very open to the idea of filling that role.It’s not always a filled seat at
Microsoft.There have been times when
they’ve had a CTO and times when they have not.And I mentioned the idea and Satya said let me give it some thought it’s
interesting and wanted to make sure we had thought it all the way through.And over a roughly four to six-week period he
decided that it made sense and then our head of technology became the CTO of
Microsoft.So these are things that you
don’t typically see in a situation like this.And I think they all add up.I
think it makes all the difference in the world.
HEATHER BELLINI:That’s a good segue to talk about kind of how
you’ve seen LinkedIn perform versus your expectations since the deal
closed.I think there’s a lot of people
wondering in the room and I think you’ve got a lot to talk about there.
JEFF WEINER:Yeah, sure.So 2016, to remind folks at the onset of 2016 the guidance that we gave
the street that was the first time we were giving guidance in terms of
2016.It was not what the street was
expecting.There was a steep fall off in
the stock and that decel from a growth rate perspective continued, and it
continued through the end of 2016.We
actually saw some further decline, more so than we might have anticipated by
the end of 2016 and those were being baked into our plan as part of Microsoft.
in 2017 things were doing just about according to plan for the first two
quarters, some areas outperforming, some areas right under performance and some
gaps that we were hoping to close.But
it was the third quarter calendar of 17 where we started to see some upticks
and the CFO, Steve Sordello, said you know my instincts tell me there may be
some possibilities here for acceleration and anything that would stabilize that
growth rate and then any uptick, even a few hundred basis points I think would
have been welcome.
sure enough we started to see acceleration.It started with engagement and we are essentially an enterprise business
that’s built on top of a consumer platform and we have multiple business
lines.We have a talent solutions line,
very much an enterprise business.We
have marketing solutions, ad sales, which is tied very much to engagement and
the inventory that’s created, the ad inventory that’s created to
engagement.We have a premium business
and that funnel is largely driven by engagement, staff solutions, learning
solutions, et cetera, and when engagement is lifted at LinkedIn it’s a tide
that lifts all boats.
the extent the individual business lines are then improving their own business,
their business model, their products and services, their go-to-market
strategies, we get compounding effects.And so the very first uptick came from engagement.And it was a byproduct in large part of
investments we had been making over the prior 6, 12, 18 months in terms of a
completely redesigned mobile experience then a redesigned desktop experience
that created a lot more alignment between the two, not only in terms of the
user experience, but in terms of the way in which we develop products, which
was a big deal in terms of productivity and in terms of accelerating
have been making and continue to make an aggressive investment in our feed and
we started to see record levels of traffic in the feed through curated packages
and video and greater relevancy models.We overhauled our inbox and created a far more modern way of
communicating on LinkedIn.It was way
overdue.But we’re now all in on
messaging and we stripped out the old inbox.And then we invested in our active job seeker use case, as opposed to
just passive candidates, people who are actively seeking a job, which is
something we had shied away from.
underline the growth that we started to see in these three essential areas for
our members was the notifications ecosystem that while hardly perfected we
started to make tremendous progress on, in terms of understanding where to
optimize for both relevancy and frequency.And so all told, as a result of that, we started to see a fairly
substantial lift and engagement and it just keeps building.So this third calendar year of 2017 we
started to see what had been a gap in terms of our engagement expectations as
measured by sessions was reversed; was no longer a gap, it was a surplus.And then it started to materially be planned
in expectations.And then the businesses
started to follow suit.And we’ve now
seen acceleration three quarters in a row.
HEATHER BELLINI:On top line?
JEFF WEINER:On top line, also with regard to
engagement.Engagement got big enough
where even a few hundred basis points of down tick is still wildly ‑‑
HEATHER BELLINI:How do you measure engagement?How are you measuring?
JEFF WEINER:Sessions and that’s a great question.So historically we had measured via unique
users and paid views, which we lamented time and time again, it was something
we introduced at the time of the public offering and then once it’s out there
you all know all too well it’s almost impossible to take back.And the way in which you’re explaining why
you want to take it back and then people start assuming the worst, and it’s a
rationalization, because it’s under-performing, you want people looking
elsewhere, not the case.
users and page views are not ideal ways of measuring engagement.They’re not ideal ways of measuring the value
that a consumer website or application is generating, because they can be
gamed.I don’t mean gamed in nefarious
ways, I mean if you want to generate additional page views you can create a
crappy experience, but people have to keep clicking.And the whole shift from desktop to mobile
also changes the way you think about this stuff.And unique users on a site like LinkedIn
could be receiving an invitation, clicking it, coming into the site and
clicking out, no value created.
we shifted, we pivoted.And we pivoted
from unique users to sessions, people visiting the site and you can’t game that
they’re either coming to the site or they’re not.And we replaced the idea of unique users with
engaged quality members.Those are
people who have actually visited the site within the last 28 days, 30 or more
connections.They’re reachable via e-mail
address or a cell number and they have at least two key fields completed on
their profile, so massively up-leveling how we define a user of LinkedIn.And we saw acceleration across the board.
HEATHER BELLINI:The switch to sessions did that happen once
you were acquired by Microsoft?And was
that kind of somewhat liberating?You
were able to get away from the old metric and then focus on what you thought
mattered the most?
JEFF WEINER:Yeah, more than somewhat liberating it was
quite liberating.IT was actually a
discussion that had been underway at LinkedIn at least two or three quarters
prior to the announcement.It was
something we wanted to do, and we were just trying to figure out the right way
to do it and the right time to do it and how we were going to explain it to
folks.But I think it’s illustrative of
one over-arching factor in terms of the success that we’re seeing right now,
which is being part of Microsoft and being able to focus on some things that if
you’re constantly trying to meet for the quarterly expectations, despite the
best of your intentions and despite the fact that you are trying to maximize
long-term value there’s just the reality of managing to the quarter, it is
so this is an example.It may not be the
most material of examples, but where we could focus on what we believe to be
best for the business and that has clearly been thematic throughout everything
we do, the member value propositions and the way in which we’re investing in
our platform, our individual business lines where we can think longer-term and
interestingly enough we’ve thought longer-term, and as we became less focused
on the quarterly performance we actually started to out-perform on a quarterly
HEATHER BELLINI:Right.And so I think there would probably be some people where they’d be
surprised.So it seems like you’ve
basically been able to run the business the way you think is the best way to
run the business and Microsoft hasn’t interfere isn’t the right word, but you’ve
been able to have the strategy be your strategy without having it be dictated
by Redmond, is that fair?
JEFF WEINER:Yeah and it’s funny, I wouldn’t even couch it
in terms of dictation or interference.It’s just not the ethos with which we established this
relationship.I think Satya and his
leadership team, they have amazing talent at Microsoft, and there’s a whole
host of areas where we collaborate.
JEFF WEINER:And we haven’t gotten into some of the
specific points of integration, present and in the future, but those are
collaborative efforts.They are framed
by a very, very clear mechanism for prioritization.I mentioned earlier it starts with growing
LinkedIn and accelerating the realization of our objectives.But it’s really three components.And they’re interrelated.So the first is to grow LinkedIn.The second is to make our data accessible to
Microsoft developers through APIs, SDKs, in a way that’s consistent with
putting our members first, consistent with our brand, consistent in terms of
service and these are high hurdles to get over.
once that data is made accessible then hoping that Microsoft developers can
then leverage that data within Microsoft products to differentiate those
products and create more value for Microsoft customers.And in success you get a very nice virtuous
cycle where Microsoft developers then want to see LinkedIn grow, so they’re
doing what they can to help LinkedIn accelerate its growth so that we can
create more data that can be further leveraged by Microsoft to create more
value for Microsoft customers.
HEATHER BELLINI:The flywheel keeps going.
JEFF WEINER:Around and around it goes.
HEATHER BELLINI:So I was going to get into some of those
specific things in a minute, in terms of the opportunities for the two
companies.But just the strategy
obviously hasn’t changed for LinkedIn.Has your role changed at all?
JEFF WEINER:No, I mean for the most part my role is
identical to the role I had previously.There’s a few notable changes.For one, it’s the first time I’ve gotten up on stage in an event like
this since we announced.
JEFF WEINER:No longer a publicly traded company, part of
a publicly traded company, and so the cycles that were going into that
explicitly have been reinvested in the integration.They’ve been reinvested in learning more
about Microsoft and they’ve been reinvested in growing LinkedIn’s
business.So that’s been one material
difference.The other is being a part of
Microsoft and having a seat at the table with Satya and the leadership team at
Microsoft, to better understand what they’re trying to accomplish, how they’re
trying to accomplish it, and what role LinkedIn can play in making a difference
HEATHER BELLINI:You talked about those three areas of focus,
kind of growing LinkedIn, making the data accessible, and then making it so
that the Microsoft developers can kind of leverage the data that you’re
creating.How do you see that
translating into the type of products that you’re offering, or kind of
synergies that you have between Microsoft products and LinkedIn products?
JEFF WEINER:Yeah, well, a very specific world example,
most recently we just announced in the last week taking a product that we had
been testing and had a limited audience and rolling it out far more broadly is
LinkedIn integration in Microsoft Word to help people flesh out and develop
their resumes, and to do it leveraging LinkedIn profile information.
there’s a ton of people that use Microsoft Word to create resumes and once we
understand that you’re in the process of developing your resume, or editing
your resume, we can light up a right rail panel on the right of the page.And in there, based on the words that you’re
using in your resume we know, for example, what kind of title you’re seeking,
what kind of title you have, and oftentimes with regard to writing your resume
it’s a cold start.You don’t know what
to say.You don’t know how to say
it.I remember when I was college I used
to look at the resumes of the folks that were older than me and better
understand how to do that stuff.And
LinkedIn has all of that information and data.
then leveraging some light AI we can make some recommendations and some
suggestions.We can ultimately help you
with formatting.We can connect you to
people who can provide coaching.But the
most important thing we can do is right there on the right rail is light up the
relevant jobs, right.You’re updating
your resume ostensibly for a reason and we know what job you’re seeking.We know your objectives.We know what skills you have.We know the people that you know.We’re in a pretty good position to help you
find a good job.
that would be an example we have been ever since the deal closed our very first
point of integration was our sales navigator product and integrating that into
Dynamics CRM and since that time Microsoft has taken a new SKU to market in
terms of Microsoft Relationship Sales Solution.And that’s starting to generate some nice pipeline momentum.It’s still early days.
of the things we’re most excited about is Outlook integration.So in Outlook you receive an e-mail.It may be someone legitimate and you know you’re
supposed to respond to them and try and figure out how best to respond to them,
but you don’t know them very well.You
just put the mouse just briefly over the name and you get a mini LinkedIn
profile card.And you start to see who
this person is, what they do, where they work, who you know in common and then
if you click on that further you get a more in-depth LinkedIn experience right
there within Outlook.So you can see the
kind of information they’re sharing, the content, so forth and so on.
can also integrate it with Microsoft.You can begin to see things like org charts.You can see through LinkedIn their skill set
and ultimately you can see which roles and if there were a colleague within
your company, what roles they might be best at.You can figure out who to reach out to, to help answer questions.
HEATHER BELLINI:Do these become all new SKUs of, say, Office
or Outlook, or with Dynamics.How do you
think about packaging these up?
JEFF WEINER:So the sales navigator integration with
Dynamics CRM is a SKU.
JEFF WEINER:The Outlook integration is just layering more
value into Outlook and ultimately all of that identity information, all this
kind of social fabric that we have on LinkedIn within a professional context,
there’s a lot of opportunity to layer that throughout Office, not just in
Outlook.So any time you’re working with
anyone to get a better sense of who they are, what they know, who they know,
and these are things that make a meaningful difference to how work gets done
and it’s with your existing colleagues within your company, and it’s with
people outside of your company you’re trying to learn more about.
about a meeting you’re preparing for, whether they’re sales prospects or a
business development partnership, or a new client sell, think about walking
into that meeting with a far greater understanding of exactly who everyone is,
what you know in common, what you have in common, it just changes the nature of
HEATHER BELLINI:Right.I’m going to pause for a second and see if there’s any questions in the
audience before I keep going.I think
there are mic runners.Right here up
front.Bear with me one second.
QUESTION:Jeff, one of the things you said in the past
was as a sort of not-mega-scale-tech-company it was hard when you looked at
what the future held in terms of core technology to envision the path forward
within engineering.I’d love to hear a
little bit now that you’ve had a year and change, being part of Microsoft.What does that core technology mean to
LinkedIn and what can you do with it?
JEFF WEINER:Yeah, so a few things that come to mind
immediately, AI, unsurprisingly, and while we had made a sizable investment in
machine learning over the years, it’s hard to compete, exactly to your point,
with the tech titan’s investment in AI.
there’s a lot of expertise there that we’re increasingly going to be able to
leverage.There’s elements of Azure, for
example, that we can leverage.It’s
going to meaningfully accelerate how we scale out video, posting video on
LinkedIn.And those opportunities we’re
doing machine translation within our feeds, leveraging Azure capabilities.There’s a fair number of areas that we are
meaningfully able to accelerate by virtue of the investment that Microsoft has
made thus far to date.
enough, and it’s hard to tease apart the extent to which it would have happened
anyway, or to the extent it’s a part of being a part of Microsoft, but we’re
seeing the highest rate of engineering hiring, in terms of wins and yield on
offers in absolute terms in the company’s history, in LinkedIn’s history.So that’s been a really positive trend, as
well.And I think part of that has to do
with what we’re trying to accomplish and how we’re trying to accomplish
it.I think part of it is people like
the fact that LinkedIn is now playing in a much bigger sandbox, as far as
advanced technologies and has access to world class talent and infrastructure.
HEATHER BELLINI:Any other questions from the audience?It’s hard to see with the lights.There’s one right behind you, sir.
QUESTION:Hi, Jeff.Quick question on competition, who is LinkedIn’s competition?
JEFF WEINER:As far as professional networks go
specifically, there’s really one professional network, one country in the world
where we’re not the number one professional network, that’s Germany, and there’s
a company called Xing there that’s been doing well.Thankfully, we’re growing in Germany pretty
quickly, which we’re excited about.
has actually been a big part of the acceleration that we’re seeing.Our membership is 70 percent international at
this point.And we’re seeing business
line acceleration in a meaningful way in a number of different markets for
Talent Solutions EMEA has been a very positive surprise.The team is doing a really nice job
there.France is one of our fastest
growing markets in the world, which was unexpected, not only in terms of
engagement, but also the business, and starting to add up.Germany, where we were lagging Xing, I think
closing that gap and we’re starting to see the impact on the business.And that’s a big opportunity going
forward.Perhaps unsurprisingly, given
the size of the markets and the fact they’re still developing, China and India
are large growth opportunities for us and we continue to see some pretty
positive momentum in markets like that as well.
HEATHER BELLINI:Go ahead.
QUESTION:Thanks.Hi, Jeff.My question is just
broadly, if you can help us connect the dots between all the different
communication platforms inside Microsoft between Skype, Xbox, Minecraft, is
there a master plan?Obviously, you’ve
got Outlook that’s massive.Help us
connect all of those different pieces?
JEFF WEINER:I would gladly leave that to Satya and the
team responsible for the communications strategy.I do think there very clearly is a long-term
plan to maximize alignment and start to orient those offerings around value
propositions and around the end user as opposed to just selling product and
bringing more SKUs to market.And I
think Satya and the team have been very thoughtful in terms of areas for opportunity
that will help align situations where there are multiple SKUs like that.
HEATHER BELLINI:Great.Thank you.
others?Sorry, there’s one right here.
QUESTION:Thanks, Jeff.You talked a lot about the product innovation on the user side and how
you can leverage different technologies to help the users be more successful in
whatever it is that they’re trying to do.Can you talk a little bit about some of the innovation that you’re
driving on the Talent Solutions side to help the users of that product be more
JEFF WEINER:Yes.So thank you, it’s a really important question.So Talent Solutions is still our largest
business, especially when you consider our Learning Solutions business post the
acquisition of Lynda and increasingly we think about those two as one solution
set.And where we’re taking Talent
Solutions has two components, really.A
marketplace, you’ve got the people seeking the jobs and you’ve got the people
offering the jobs.
terms of the job seeking experience, we have dramatically increased the number
of jobs made available on LinkedIn.About four-plus years ago we were at roughly 350,000 jobs available on
LinkedIn and we thought that was the immediate addressable opportunity for our
core audience in terms of high-value white collar jobs and knowledge worker
roles.Today we’re about to surpass 15
million jobs on LinkedIn, something we’re pretty excited about.And it’s making a pretty significant
difference, that kind of liquidity and comprehensiveness for our active job
it starts on that foundation.But just
investing more and getting that value proposition right, we now have our jobs
capability directly and seamlessly integrated into our flagship application,
and that was a huge step function lift in terms of the number of unique users
seeking jobs, in terms of job applied, in terms of ultimately of confirmed
hires, which is true north.And we can
see that by virtue of when someone changes their profile.
other side of that equation with regard to Talent Solutions, the innovation
that’s happening both in terms of product and go to market, with regard to
product we announced at Talent Connect, which is our largest customer event on
an annual basis, last October that we are going to be going all in on Talent
Intelligence and starting to offer data-driven products that help our customers
do better informed, more informed workforce planning, which is increasingly
going to become essential to the success of these companies given not only the
intense fine battle for talent, but some of the trends we’re seeing on a global
basis in terms of automation and AI skills gaps, the rise of independent
workers, et cetera.So we’re very
excited about that.
we’ve started to evolve our go to market strategy and business model, and
within Talent Solutions in particular we’re starting to gain some traction with
what we call the Talent Solutions Enterprise Program, which has revisited our
business model and has broadened the potential addressable opportunity within
the customers we already served who may have said that they didn’t necessarily
have the budget to reach their entire force of recruiters and sourcers and
hiring managers that they were purchasing product, pretty high ticket item, for
the people who use us most intensively.But we knew that everyone within the organization who was related to
that process could benefit through the tool, and so we went back to the drawing
board and thought through that business model and are now able to effectively
reduce the cost per seat or cost per user while materially expanding the
footprint within the organization, and the net result is more budget being
allocated to LinkedIn.
so that’s Talent Solutions proper.
regard to learning, the enterprise component of learning, when we acquired Lynda,
Lynda was very early on with regard to taking other product to the
enterprise.It was largely a consumer
offering.It was a consumer
subscription.We were able to leverage
our existing enterprise sales force and we’re starting to see meaningful traction
with regard to the enterprise.And we
think this is a pretty big opportunity for all of the reasons I cited earlier
in terms of both secular trend and the need increasingly for companies to not
only source the best talent, but to develop the best talent, and then think
through leveraging the data of their work force strategy going forward.So it’s kind of three legs to a stool.
HEATHER BELLINI:You mentioned the enterprise sales force that
you have, that’s existing at LinkedIn, but also Microsoft has obviously a huge
global enterprise sales force with deep relationships.Can you share with us kind of how you might
be able to leverage the broader footprint of the Microsoft sales organization?
JEFF WEINER:Sure.One example would be the Sales Nav of Dynamics CRM example, where we’re
able to leverage Microsoft sales team footprint in terms of the customers that
are using Dynamics, and conversely leverage our footprint for Sales
Navigator.Microsoft sales team has very
significant penetration on a global basis that we’re potentially able to
leverage.We recently announced our
hiring a country manager in Japan, which we’re excited about.That’s a large unaddressed opportunity by
LinkedIn where Microsoft has an enormous presence.
I think Microsoft’s business in Japan is probably larger or at parity with our
entire business.And we’re able to
leverage their footprint in areas like that.Microsoft has a very strong footprint in terms of governments as
customers that use Microsoft products.And increasingly we’ve gotten some case studies where governments are
purchasing our learning products to offer to their citizens.And that started in schools and higher
educational organizations, and it’s now expanding to everyone within that
HEATHER BELLINI:Is it fair to say that that is just -- yore
just exploring that now, so the opportunity is -- you’ve been able to
accelerate revenue just with what you’ve been doing with your internal LinkedIn
assets.The kind of extension of the
relationship into the rest of the Microsoft family seems like that that’s yet
necessarily to show up in the top line.Is that fair?
JEFF WEINER:I think that’s an accurate
characterization.I think there is a
fair amount of opportunity there, and I just cited a few that would leverage
Microsoft’s field sales footprint, but there’s also their customer footprint in
terms of subscriptions and in terms of product lines like O365 and Microsoft
365 and then our subscription product, which is one of our larger businesses,
and you start to think about what’s possible in terms of integration
opportunities, in terms of leveraging those existing footprints, whether it’s
learning, whether it’s our general subscription packages, and that’s also an
interesting area to further explore.
HEATHER BELLINI:All right.That’s great.I think we’re about
out of time.But thank you,
everybody.Thank you, Jeff.
July 19, 2018 2:30 PM - PT
Microsoft Fiscal Year 2018 Fourth Quarter Earnings Conference Call