Kevin Scott, senior vice president of Infrastructure at LinkedIn, has been appointed as Microsoft's chief technology officer reporting directly to CEO Satya Nadella, the Redmond, Wash., software giant announced today.
"Kevin will bring to Microsoft his unique expertise developing platforms and services that empower people and organizations," said Nadella in a Jan. 24 statement.
Signaling that Microsoft is ready to move full-speed ahead on the planned integrations between LinkedIn and the technology giant's business technology ecosystem, Nadella added that the new CTO's "first area of focus is to bring together the world’s leading professional network and professional cloud."
Microsoft acquired LinkedIn in a $26 billion deal that closed on Dec. 8. The professional social network boasts over 467 million members across more than 200 countries. It's a figure that includes 40 million students and recent college graduates, a fast-growing demographic.
Given the sheer size of LinkedIn's user base, along with the wealth of business and career data stored on the platform, Microsoft has some ambitious plans to connect the network with its sprawling portfolio of operating system, business software and cloud solutions.
Among the many integration scenarios shared by Nadella in his Dec. 8 announcement is incorporating LinkedIn identity and network data into the Microsoft Office Suite and Outlook. Plans also call for enabling LinkedIn notifications in the Windows action center and building upon the LinkedIn Lookup app by enlisting Office 365 and Microsoft's popular identity management platform, Active Directory.
For sales organizations, the company expects to combine Dynamics 365 with LinkedIn Sales Navigator to enhance their social selling capabilities. LinkedIn also provides Microsoft with new avenues into the market for online training and advancement as well as the growing human capital management software market.
For his part, Scott will be tasked with helping to bring those aims to fruition from a technology perspective. Scott will also hold the title of senior vice president of Infrastructure at LinkedIn and continue as part of the LinkedIn's executive management team. Prior to LinkedIn, he held engineering positions at AdMob and Google.
Meanwhile, LinkedIn is getting ready to roll out a revamped web application experience.
In the coming weeks, visitors will be treated to a site redesign that Chris Pruett, senior director of Engineering at LinkedIn, called a "complete overhaul of our technology architecture" and aligns with LinkedIn's mobile apps efforts in a Jan. 19 blog post.
New features include persistent messaging windows that enable real-time chat among users, a universal search box that casts a wider net and seamless transitions that dispense with full-page reloads. Behind the scenes, the LinkedIn feed will be powered by new algorithms (with some help from human editors) that provide users with more relevant updates.
"Our goal is to ensure you can seamlessly access the most relevant professional conversations, content and opportunities whether you’re on our mobile app or on our desktop experience," Pruett wrote. "Most importantly, this desktop redesign brings conversations and content to the heart of the platform, so you can more easily share ideas, join a discussion, and discover news and topics you care about."