Skype has allegedly triggered a night of the long knives, cleansing surplus executives as a prelude to the VoIP provider being absorbed into Microsoft. By Ian Scales.
Eight Skype execs have left the building just as Microsoft and Skype won clearance from the US regulators to proceed with the $8.5 billion buyout. The company refuses to say whether they left (to further their outside interests) or were pushed (to spend more time with their families), but they have parted the ways.
Reports say the executives are David Gurle, vice president and general manager for Skype for Business; Don Albert, vice president and general manager for the Americas and Advertising; Doug Bewsher, chief marketing officer; Christopher Dean, head of consumer market business development; Anne Gillespie, head of human resources and several-time TelecomTV interviewee, Russ Shaw, vice president and general manager, are all reported to be clearing their desks.
Two executives were trapped in a revolving door on their way into the company - Ramu Sunkara and senior vice president, Allyson Campa, are both on their way too, having just joined Skype earlier this year following the acquistion of their video-sharing utility company, Qik.
The written statement from Skype says straight-fowardly: "Skype, like any other pragmatic organization, 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."
Pragmatic indeed. The suggestion is that Skype decided to purge the execs at this time to cut the amount the company would have had to pay out in stock options once the deal with Microsoft is closed. Bloomberg says that its likely the stock options held by the executives will be worth less than if they had stayed to the other side of the merger (which rather implies they were going to be fired anyway).
It's tough at the top.
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