Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) have long been an integral component of business growth and capability expansion, but 2021 saw the biggest corporations purchasing more companies than any other year in the last decade. Among the tech giants fueling the hot M&A market, Microsoft led the pack in 2021 with more than 50 acquisitions ― and CEO Satya Nadella appears hungry for more. Microsoft, a mainstay of Fortune’s top 20 companies, capped its acquisition spree with the planned purchase of Activision Blizzard, a $70 billion investment in video gaming and building the metaverse; but it’s just one building block for the company’s future.
Microsoft, innovator of the ‘90s PC boom, has struggled to reinvent itself in the past decade-plus, but it has seen success with its video game platform, the popular Xbox series, as well as its improved workplace software, Microsoft 365. Now, the company is diversifying by purchasing smaller enterprises in valuable growth sectors. CEO Nadella is particularly focused on cybersecurity, one of the fastest growing categories in tech. The company is already eyeing Mandiant, the cybersecurity software firm formerly known as FireEye, which is currently valued at about $4.5 billion. Microsoft picked up several security startups in 2021, including CloudKnox Security, RiskIQ, and CyberX.