What Was Skype's Shortfall?

skype1.pngWhen Skype founder Niklas Zennstrom stepped down earlier this month with only one-third of his payout from eBay, it was clear that Skype fell short of its goals in regards to growing its number of active users, revenues, and gross profits. Obviously, Skype is not a good fit for eBay. But what exactly were those goals? After all, Skype’s revenues grew 96 percent in the third quarter and it is on track to bring in $400 million in revenues this year.

According to one former Skype executive, that $400 million is only half of what eBay was expecting for 2007 revenues when it originally bought Skype (or, rather, half of what Zennstrom needed to still be on track to get his full payout). This former Skyper cautions that this $800 million target is more of a best guess on his part than a confirmed number. So file this under “educated rumor.” Anyone who can confirm the real earn-out targets, please send me an e-mail.