Skype has signaled its intentions to aggressively build out its mobile business by appointing former Sony Ericsson President Miles Flint to chair its board. He’s an adviser to Silver Lake Partners, which led a group of private investors in taking a stake in Skype as it resolved its legal mess last fall.
Flint, who left Sony Ericsson in 2007 and joined Silver Lake the following year, is a natural fit on several levels. Skype, which has stepped up its mobile game substantially in the last year by extending support for Windows Mobile devices, the iPhone, the Nokia N900 and Symbian phones, surely hopes to leverage his knowledge of the handset space. (Skype Lite, a stripped-down version of the software, is available for a few dozen handsets.) Flint’s tenure at Sony Ericsson also provides experience in managing competing interests — which could come in handy when it comes to chairing the board of a company that has had its share of acrimony, including having its two co-founders fight their way back in for a piece of the business.And such a seasoned leader could also prove useful if Skype pursues a rumored IPO.
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