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Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman Defends Skype Buy

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Meg Whitman, former chief executive officer of eBay,  defended her decision to buy Skype in a radio interview with KTKZ’s Capitol Hour featuring Eric Hogue. Whitman is running for the office of the Governor of California on a Republican ticket, and is currently leading in the Republican primaries. Here is what she had to say on the show.

Hogue noted that “one of your opponents, Steve Poizner, referred to the fact that it was you as CEO of eBay that spent $2.1 billion on Skype, and that didn’t work, and he’s drawing the comparison here. Is that a fair or unfair comparison here, Meg?” She answered:

You know, we made so many acquisitions at eBay, so many of which were absolutely terrific. PayPal, a lot of our classified sites. And actually I think Skype will prove to be a good acquisition for eBay. You probably read that the company just sold about two-thirds of the interest in Skype to an investor group, kept a portion, and got almost all the money back, and I think Skype will be very effective. So I am very proud of my tenure at eBay. You know we took eBay from 30 individuals, 30 employees to 15,000, from $4.7 million in revenues to nearly $8 billion in revenues. So I’m very proud of the record and proud of the acquisition record.

I commend her for riding the eBay rocket ship, but when it comes to Skype, we all know she blew it. And once again, she dodged the question. How can she defend overlooking and not buying the JoltID technology from Skype co-founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis? That decision cost eBay another 5 percent of Skype when the auction giant had to settle with the two co-founders.

13 Responses to “Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman Defends Skype Buy”

  1. On the other hand just imagine, you’re CEO of a biz that generates cash and is not growing. Board is asking you why is that money sleeping in bank, you hardly see any related business you can buy… And voila, tall guy steps in, he has well known brand, some growth, and most importantly he agrees to pocket big part of your sleeping cash…

  2. The acquisition of Skype was dubious if not fraudulent. I remember getting the shareholders slide deck, full of wishful thinking and no mention of the fact that they were buying just a brand and not the underlying tech (Joltid). I still find amazing that they got away with it.

    • Actually, Meg didn’t want to buy Paypal. When Wells Fargo pulled out and went to Paypal she had no other choice. And she’s a 10 year politican, she worked Congress to not regulate for years through ebay. Every single one of those Senators and Congressman are spooked because they know how many small business sellers are in their states. Every time there’s regulation, what happens. Send the innocents to do your dirty work. Just because you dont see her vote and she has limited contributions doesn’t mean she’s not the person of privilege over there on the hill.

      If you really want to make her cringe, ask her how she can sleep at night knowing the Mom & Pops she paraded in front of Congress where the ones she sold up the river for big retailers. Because of her close to tens of thousands of small businesses got squeezed off of ebay.

      Its absurd that she’s saying she created jobs for those millions of small businesses. She ran that place like a sweatshop. Even more baffling is yet again, those sellers matter the least.

      What Meg does is she takes credit for the hard work of others and she blames others when she makes poor decisions.

      Steve Poizner can put her out of her misery over night. All he has to do is open up the airwaves. Put out the message and let the ebay sellers give their “feedback”
      Then you can see what the reign of meg was like