Clarence Clemons --R.I.P. Big Man
Video in The Clouds

Skype Firings

I was going to write a post about the firing of multiple Skype VP's some of whom I have dealt with in the past for a variety of clients, interviewed or heard speak but between the GigaOm, Skype Journal, and Bloomberg pieces there's enough speculation.

The one guy of the bunch who I can single out who deserves some solid recognition is Christopher Dean. He headed up corporate strategy and was the guy who likely did the most to help Skype move along for the future. The last two deals he did that the Silicon Valley echo chamber should take note of was Skype's acquisition of QIK and the partnership with Comcast, both of which he put together.

Dean's a solid corporate and business development guy, a star in some rights, and he clearly did his job after being brought in under Josh Silverman, who is now at AMERICAN EXPRESS. The move on QIK saved Skype millions in potential royalties for video compression and streaming delivery technology that they would have to continue to pay Google and others. The Comcast move makes Dean the first exec to successfully sell a video calling solution to Comcast in the last two decades. It's a play that's been tried before, and everyone else came up short. Dean was also reportedly one of the masterminds behind the "let's IPO to get acquired strategy" long before even the Silver Lake folks came along.


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