LinkedIn just bought online learning company Lynda for $1.5 billion

Lynda WeinmanWikimediaLynda Weinman, co-founder of Lynda.com

LinkedIn just purchased lynda.com, an online learning company, for $1.5 billion, the company announced today.

Founded in 1995 by Lynda Weinman and her husband Bruce Heavin, Lynda.com lets users learn business, technology, software, and creative skills through videos. Individuals can access Lynda on their own, but corporations and schools can purchase subscriptions too.

Weinman serves as the company's executive chairman. Eric Robison has been Lynda.com's CEO since 2007. Previously he worked at consulting firm IdeaTrek and Paul Allen's Vulcan, Inc.

"This is a moment in history when people can learn anytime, anywhere, and with no boundaries. We believe in LinkedIn's future stewardship and vision, and feel that we have found a perfect cultural fit for our mission," Lynda Weinman wrote on LinkedIn.

The deal, a cash-stock blend, is expected to close sometime this quarter.

The acquisition will let LinkedIn's 350 million users use the platform for skill-building and education, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner said in a LinkedIn post Thursday.

"We get so excited about the possibilities that could come from the integration of lynda.com and LinkedIn," LinkedIn head of content products Ryan Roslansky said. "Imagine being a job seeker and being able to instantly know what skills are needed for the available jobs in a desired city, like Denver, and then to be prompted to take the relevant and accredited course to help you acquire this skill. Or doing a search on SlideShare to learn about integrated marketing and then to be prompted with a lynda.com course on the same subject."

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