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Microsoft takover of Skype approved as executives fired

by Hugo Jobling on 20 June 2011, 10:35

Tags: Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Skype

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Called out

Microsoft's plan to buy Skype has been approved by the US Federal Trade Commission, marking the clearance of the potential final hurdle Microsoft needed to overcome to finalise the takeover. The deal isn't fully completed yet, as no money has changed hands, but it's now safe to call it as good as done.

Skype's response to the FTC decision is interesting: a number of Skype executives are being fired, or have chosen to leave the company. According to Skype Journal, David Gurlé, Christopher Dean, Russ Shaw, Don Albert, Doug Bewsher, and Anne Gillespie are all either leaving or have already left the company - the departures aren't official, so it's unknown exactly whether these staff have definitely been fired, or if any chose to leave.

Skype, unsurprisingly isn't giving any details, simply stating that: "Skype, like any other pragmatic organization, 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." Given the timing with the FTC approval of Microsoft's takeover, it wouldn't be unreasonable to believe that Skype is simply removing unnecessary staff overlap.

It's unknown whether the executive's now leaving Skype will hold on to any stock options they had, and as such if they will be getting a slice of the forthcoming Microsoft buyout money. It's possible that these firings are a move to decline these staff the payouts they would have kept had they stayed on until the full completion of the Microsoft deal.



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