Skype is taking another step towards becoming a public company today with the appointment of a new CEO. (Updated) I have confirmed that Skype’s new CEO is going to be Tony Bates, a senior VP at Cisco, who runs its Enterprise and Service Provider groups, which together account for about $30 billion worth of Cisco’s business. Bates will be moving to Skype HQ in Luxembourg and will begin his duties at the end of October. CFO Adrian Dillion will be acting CEO in the interim. Since it’s spin-off from eBay, Skype has a completely new executive team, including a new CFO, general counsel, chief marketing officer, and head of engineering. Now Bates will top off the new team.
Bates is a heavy hitter, especially in the enterprise world, where the bulk of Skype’s future revenues may come from. He was responsible for about 80 percent of Cisco’s business and even more of its profits. He had 12,000 employees reporting to him. Someone like Bates doesn’t leave that kind of a job unless he thinks Skype is going to become a major company with serious upside.
Skype’s current CEO, Josh Silverman, will be moving on. Skype is on track to pass $1 billion in revenues next year (its revenue run-rate for 2010 is $800 million). In June, Skype was averaging 124 million active users a month, but only 8.1 million o them were paying. Skype has the scale it needs to negotiate lower telecom connection fees around the world, but it needs to ramp up the number of paying customers and convert more free users.
The company recently filed to go public in August. And while there were rumors that a company like Cisco might buy it, adding a new CEO at this time points more strongly in the direction of an IPO. The earlier Cisco rumors now make sense. Cisco wasn’t trying to buy Skype. Rather, Skype was trying to hire the guy who runs most of Cisco.
Tony Bates is the CEO of Skype, which he joined in October 2010. He previously served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Cisco’s Enterprise, Commercial and Small Business Group, where he was responsible for its overall strategy and development direction. Bates was Senior Vice President and General Manager for the Service Provider business unit. He was responsible for the overall strategy and development direction of the business resulting, in more than $10 billion of annual...
Skype is a software application that allows users to make voice and video calls and chats over the Internet. Calls to other users within the Skype service are free, while calls to both traditional landline telephones and mobile phones can be made for a fee using a debit-based user account system. Skype was founded by Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis who were also the founders of the file sharing application Kazaa. Skype has also become popular for its additional...
Cisco designs and sells hardware, software, networking, and communications technology services. Products are distributed under five brands, namely Cisco, Linksys, WebEx, IronPort, and Scientific Atlanta. Cisco was founded in 1984 by a small group of computer scientists from Stanford University. Since the company’s inception, Cisco engineers have been leaders in the development of Internet Protocol (IP)-based networking technologies. Cisco name is based on its origins starting up in San Francisco.