Skype thins ranks for Microsoft

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 GurlE, 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.

Topics:  communications microsoft new york online skype steve ballmer

Wall of help for Our Kids in hospitals

FUNDS RAISED: Our Kids co-ordinator Rebekka Battista with Woolworths Ballina Store manager Nori Bensley and the rest of the Northern Rivers Woolworths' staff at the handover of $54,772.

Donation helps keep kids closer to home

Tourism division welcomes inquiry into holiday letting

Parliamentary inquiry into short stay holiday lets has been welcomed by tourist body.

Ppportunity to help grow and diversify regional tourism

Grease is the word at Alstonville High

The Pink Ladies and T-birds will be entertaining crowds at Alstonville High School.

Next week the curtains rise on the iconic musical

Local Partners

Back with Love and Violence

DOWN AGAIN: The Superjesus are Paul Berryman on drums, Sarah McLeod on lead vocals and Stuart Rudd on bass guitar.

The Superjesus are back after 13 years

Brad Pitt won't file legal response to divorce petition

Brad reportedly refused to send off the paperwork

Azealia Banks won't take legal action against Russell Crowe

Rapper Azealia Banks

Rapper drops legal action against Russell Crowe

Brad Pitt meets with his kids amid divorce proceedings

Actor Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt has met up with his oldest son Maddox

Pictures of Taylor Swift allegedly being groped are sealed

They could "complicate jury selection".

Bruce Springsteen finds therapy useful

Singer Bruce Springsteen

Singer encourages others to seek help

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track

Heavyweight enters real estate market

Des Besanko principal and director of Raine and Horne Springfield.

Major rebranding which has seen two big name brands merge