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Skype cuts senior executives. Why?

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Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) gave the green light to Microsoft’s $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype, the Internet telephony company. Skype Journal reports that the FTC go ahead comes at a time when many key senior executives have left or have been asked to leave the company.

Skype senior staff David GurléChristopher DeanRuss ShawDon AlbertDoug Bewsher, and Anne Gillespie are leaving Skype or have left. (Skype Journal)

Bloomberg News reports that Ramu Sunkara and Allyson Campa who joined the company as part of the Qik acquisition have been let go. Bloomberg also says that senior executives have been “cut” because it is “a move that reduces the value of their payout.”

If that is indeed the case, this is a pretty short sighted strategy and it is only going to make integration of Skype into Microsoft more difficult. It seems that this is a pennywise, pound foolish kind of a move, that in the end is going to erode the value of the Skype franchise.

If Skype hits an air pocket, a lot of companies are waiting to pick up the slack. Nimbuzz, for example, already has 50 million users. Google has been becoming bolder with its GoogleVoice offering, even though it is still very US centric.

19 Responses to “Skype cuts senior executives. Why?”

  1. harvey

    thanks for the article, it reminds me that i have to disable my skype account now.
    (my MS hotmail having been hacked, and absolutely no MS support exists for that, it would be terrible if my skype account were hacked too.)

  2. Makes sense to me. Its not like the top-level execs actually know any details about the technology. Skype needs new leadership, why not save all the excess payroll too. Most senior execs are just a dime-a-dozen commodity anyway.

  3. Walter Miller

    My first opinion when I heard that Microsoft intended there goes the creativity. I believe that in future development efforts regarding Skype to run on any other platform than Microsofts such as Andriod, Apples O/S, and Linux those areas will be severely curtailed if not eliminated. As far as Skype cutting senior executives I say why not most of them will be eventually eliminated by Microsoft anyway. As a major stakeholder in the company I would eliminate all unnecessary costs to maximize profits. If one noticed they were also giving a great deal (low yearly price) to those who use Skype having phone numbers. Like any major business maximize your profits in the short term.

    • From what I’ve read so far, it’s not Microsoft, it’s the current investment group weeding these people out so the investment group gets more money – greed to the core.

  4. McBeese

    Interesting. David Gurle is ex-Microsoft VoIP so I would have thought he would be a natural person to help with the integration… unless he has enemies within still.

    Tony Bates is not known as a likable leader. Not surprised to see that he’s repelling talent when it’s in short supply and people have choices.