Ironically, I started on this post on Saturday, but being my wife's birthday weekend, I left this sit. It seems Om was thinking along the same line and penned his piece which I hear has a lot of the hedge fund types and Wall Street sharpies questioning eBay the same way in their minds.
When problems arise you can judge a company by who is out in front.
Companies with old school mentalities let their hired hands do their dirty work. Having silver tongued PR pros do their talking for them or hide behind the cloak of distance, usually citing "the lawyers" want us to do this when the crap hits the fan is one example.
New school companies tend to have leaders with Balls. They're willing to get out in front, even on their darkest of days and take their lumps. GizmoProject's Michael Robertson, who went through hell on more than one occasion is that type. This week GrandCentral founders Craig Walker and Vincent Paquet showed the same kind of mettle with their deft and upfront dealings with things.
On the other hand there's the eBay appointed leadership that is now running Skype. Instead of being out in front and taking the brunt of the communications with the highly influential media and blogger worlds, the have been silent. Niklas Zennstrom, Meg Whitman and as Om pointed out, even the silver tongued and well spoken Henry Gomez, who is really Meg's appointed day to day head of Skype operations and emissary to Zennstrom, have been silent throughout this disaster as far as I can tell. Funny, they have been the ones out in front of the "good news."
Here's the net-net. Skype built their user base being ballsy, with bravado and brashness. Now that things have hit the fan the once very free tongued types seem to have their tongues all tied.
I call this leading from the back of the pack. And in the 2.0 era that's exactly where people will end up if they don't change their habits and style and be true leaders.
Update-->Looks like Om and I are not alone in this view. Stuart has similar views. My prediction--changes at Skype will be forthcoming.