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Management Shake Up At Skype

A big management change at Skype has occurred with Niklas Zennstrom resigning as CEO and Henry Gomez returning to eBay.

This tells me a few things. First that the eBay leadership is not happy with the direction Skype has been going and is looking for a leader who can really run the company globally as a telco 2.0 oriented business. This person needs a background with both big online company experience (Yahoo, AOL, Microsoft, IBM) and an ability to work with technology types on a global basis as if they are peers, not subjects.

Second it also signals that despite improving numbers based solely on user growth, that earnout isn't going to happen.

Third, this likely means something is up with Joost and Nikki Z didn't need to stick around to be a straw boss. For Gomez, who is not a tech guy, this puts him back where he was most effective at eBay and where he can do only more great things to keep the company's reputation on the high side.

The only other thought I have is that eBay MAY want to begin spinning out their prize assets like PayPal and Skype and may offer some kind of tracking stock or an outright IPO for these at some time in the future. This would mean that real business management with track records of running big business are needed at the top. I expect this to all become more clear in the the next 30-45 days.

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Michael Oeth

A proprietary protocol is rarely going to be able to advance above "hobby" status. The last line in the WSJ article states it well, that Skype has developed a following in the International community, but is generally unknown. Ebay shareholders will be best served by charging off the sale - which Ebay plans to do - and moving on.

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