Cisco Systems veteran Tony Bates is taking over as the CEO of Skype. He will replace Josh Silverman, who is leaving the company for undisclosed reasons. Bates’ hiring is indicative that Skype is serious about its IPO plans.


Cisco Systems veteran Tony Bates is taking over as the CEO of Skype. He’ll replace Josh Silverman, who is leaving the company for undisclosed reasons. The news of Silverman’s pending exit was first reported by Erick Schonfeld.

Bates is a well regarded executive who handles Cisco’s Enterprise division, and in the past, handled their carrier-focused operations. As part of my reporting duties, I’ve talked to Bates on many occasions and have found him to be a straight shooter. I first talked to him back in the day when he was working for InternetMCI. He’s a good candidate to replace Silverman, who has done a remarkable job of stabilizing what was an operation on the verge of tipping over.

Silverman restored morale, and more importantly, helped with the spinoff of Skype as a separate company. He had an impossible task of managing a massive board of directors, many of them with big egos and bigger wallets. It can’t be easy to do that job on a daily basis. From what I’ve heard, the Skype board has been very stingy about giving out options to their employees, including folks like Josh.

Bates’ hiring is indicative of three things:

  • Skype is dead serious about an initial public offering (IPO).
  • The company isn’t looking to sell out anytime soon.
  • Skype is about to make a deeper push into carrier and enterprise markets.

Related research from GigaOM PRO (subscription required):

  1. Now maybe they can rein in product management and point them toward small business revenues. It has been painful to watch the scattered approach of the current team.

  2. The Case for a Skype-Cisco Partnership: Tech News « Monday, October 4, 2010

    [...] telephony company was rumored to have made an offer to acquire Skype, and just this morning, it was announced that Cisco’s Tony Bates is taking over as CEO of [...]

  3. someone who knows the truth Monday, October 4, 2010

    Silverman did NOT regain moral, have you seen how many folks have left Skype over the last year. Skype is at an all time low moral! Josh is a nice guy but has always been ignorant of what makes a good product that people actually want to use. Everyone is trying to make people pay for services they just don’t want… I hope Tony realises what makes consumers tick and adjusts the strategy accordingly…

  4. Skype lands Cisco’s Tony Bates as new CEO « Technology Feeds Monday, October 4, 2010

    [...] on Engadget on Mon, 04 Oct 2010 15:24:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink GigaOM  |  MarketWatch, Skype  | Email this | CommentsView post: Skype lands [...]

  5. Skype lands Cisco’s Tony Bates as new CEO | Margaritosusan's Blog Monday, October 4, 2010

    [...] Permalink GigaOM  |  MarketWatch, Skype  | Email this | Comments [...]

  6. good choice – v clueful guy – i think he can take them public.

  7. Skype Expands to Most Android Phones, Wi-Fi Only in U.S. : Tech News « Tuesday, October 5, 2010

    [...] Skype said that the service may work on earlier versions of Android but there are no guarantees. And Skype is working on addressing issues with Galaxy S phones. The news comes a day after Skype announced that Cisco executive Tony Bates is taking over as CEO of Skype. [...]

  8. Ex-Skype CEO Josh Silverman Joins Greylock as EIR: Tech News « Thursday, October 7, 2010

    [...] is joining venture firm, Greylock Partners as an executive in residence. At Skype, Silverman was recently replaced by Cisco executive Tony Bates, just ahead of the Internet telephony company’s initial public [...]

  9. Skype Goes Down. Millions Impacted: Tech News « Wednesday, December 22, 2010

    [...] in its life – its investors are trying to shepherd the company towards the big corporations. Hiring of new CEO Tony Bates from Cisco Systems is only firms my belief that soon Skype is slowly starting to ignore its core [...]

Comments have been disabled for this post