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.
- 1 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 5 This crazy skiing video will leave you feeling queasy
Paris attacks: Do not call Charlie Hebdo killers 'terrorists', BBC says
Rowan Atkinson to sell £10 million McLaren 'supercar' he crashed into a tree and a lamppost
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Warriors in ancient Iraq suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder more than 3,000 years ago, say researchers
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £32000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding business...
£25 - 28k + Bonus: Guru Careers: An In-house / Internal Recruiter is needed to...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...