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More Skypers hit ESC button

Talk about dropping like flies, what’s up with Skype? More old timers aka pre-eBay folks are getting out! Saul Klein, Skype’s VP of marketing and two others have hit the ESC button. Klein is rumored to be an “entrepreneur in residence” at Index Ventures, sources tell us, though we have not been able to confirm that. The e-bay-i-zation is almost complete! It is important to point out, that most of the engineering talent in Estonia is still with the company, and continues to soldier on.

Our previous posts on this topic got us a mention in the International Herald Tribune, which did a comprehensive piece on Skype-eBay merger. (Bummer, that they forgot to mention GigaOM!)

“Ebay’s management of Skype so far has been disappointing,” said Safa Rashtchy, an Internet industry analyst in San Francisco at Piper Jaffray, an investment bank and brokerage firm that rates eBay stock as “underperform.” “They have made only incremental changes to Skype, and I just haven’t seen any of the synergies they promised to justify the purchase price.”

Our old pal, Martin Geddes had the best quip though. “Skype is in danger of becoming the Netscape of voice over Internet protocol phone companies,” he said. Of course, Skype management disagrees, and points to some of their achievements including the Skype 3.0 beta release. It is pretty darn good. We liked it at first blush, and liked it more after we dug deeper.

It opens up some decent opportunities for the developers. There will be more Skype coverage next week – when I finally finish writing up my interview with Niklas Zennstrom, the co-founder of Skype. We also got an outline of company’s North American plans from Don Albert, Skype’s GM for North America. All that later in the week.

A version of this post appeared in GigaOM Weekly email newsletter.

4 Responses to “More Skypers hit ESC button”

  1. The Estonian view, CEO Tamkivi in Tallinn in an interview published at Naked Conversations,
    ‘He told us that the number of Tallinn-based employees doubled last year to about 270, overwhelmingly technical. There has been extremely low turnover since the acquisition—perhaps 5-6 people. One problem that is emerging is that the technical talent pool in little Estonia, of 1.4 million may get tapped.’

  2. Ebay is certainly under pressure with these developments.
    Most mergers in the past have reduced value, and Ebay have yet to show any major signs of value addition inspite of so many months since it purchased Skype.

    Will await your interview with Skype founder to get the latest updates.

    Ajay Sanghani

  3. Marshall Kirkpatrick

    Did you see the Share Skype blog post like last week asking for stories about how people have used Skype and eBay together? I kept checking back, not a single comment.