Skype thins upper ranks for Microsoft takeover
Tuesday 21 June 2011
Skype, the internet telephony company, has sacked more than half a dozen of its most senior executives, in a boardroom clear-out ahead of its takeover by Microsoft.
The number and timing of the departures was the talk of the tech industry yesterday, with analysts claiming that Skype and Microsoft stood to gain by ousting senior executives now, before their stock options got revalued at the higher takeover price.
The two companies declined to comment on the timing of the departures, but a Skype spokesman said: "Skype, like any other pragmatic organisation, constantly assesses its team structure to deliver its users the best products. As part of a recent internal shift Skype has made some management changes."
Among the executives who have left are David Gurlé, a vice-president in charge of selling Skype to corporate customers, and Don Albert, the company's advertising boss. The departures were being examined for clues as to how Microsoft might run Skype when its $8.5bn takeover is completed later this year. When the deal was announced, Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's chief executive, said Skype would operate as a standalone division under its current boss, Tony Bates.
Several of the executives let go in recent weeks operate areas of the business where there is considerable overlap with Microsoft. The other names on the list of departures – originally assembled by the Skype Journal blog and by Bloomberg News – are Christopher Dean and Russ Shaw, both vice-presidents; the chief marketing officer, Doug Bewsher; and Anne Gillespie, the head of human resources. Ramu Sunkara and Allyson Campa, who joined Skype earlier this year when it acquired Qik, a mobile video sharing software company, were also let go.
The timing of the departures means that the value of their stock options will be less than if they had stayed until the Microsoft deal closed, although it is not known if the final terms of their dismissals have been negotiated.
Skype is Microsoft's largest ever acquisition. It hopes to push Skype as a service for businesses, perhaps by integrating it with its Office products.
Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift
Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios
Film follows park rangers in the Congo
Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?
- 1 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 2 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake report claiming street artist's identity has been revealed
- 3 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 4 Former East 17 frontman Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
- 5 The inventor of the Facebook 'like' button says he never made a 'dislike' button because he feared the 'unfortunate consequences'
Ukraine crisis: Donetsk 'tactical missile' explosion at factory sends blast wave across rebel-held city
Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake report claiming street artist's identity has been revealed
Super-sized ships arrive in Britain: How big can they get?
Former East 17 frontman Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
iJobs Money & Business
£25 - 30k: Guru Careers: A Corporate Actions Administrator / Operations Admini...
£18 - 23k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Customer Service Executiv...
£60 - 65k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a ASP.NET Web Developer / ....
£60,000 - £80,000: Saxton Leigh: Our client is an leading Asset Manager based...