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Skype Taps Cisco Executive Tony Bates as New CEO

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October 04, 2010

Skype Taps Cisco Executive Tony Bates as New CEO

By Tammy Wolf, TMCnet Copy Editor

Popular peer-to-peer VoIP provider Skype (News - Alert) is adding an industry veteran to its line-up, as it has tapped Tony Bates, Cisco’s senior vice president and leader of its Enterprise Group, as Skype’s new CEO.

Bates joins Skype’s completely new executive team, which includes a new CFO, general counsel, chief marketing officer and head of engineering.

At Cisco (News - Alert), Bates was senior vice president and general manager for the Service Provider business unit. He was responsible for the overall strategy and development direction of the business, which resulted in more than $10 billion of annual revenue.

Prior to that, he served as vice president and general manager of Cisco’s high-end router business. His Cisco career included the leadership and development of Cisco’s flagship CRS-1 router, GSR and Multi-Service WAN (MGX) product lines.

Described as a “heavy hitter” in the enterprise world and with 12,000 employees under his leadership, Bates was responsible for 70 percent of Cisco’s business and even more of its profits.

Before Cisco, Bates was at the forefront of an engineering strategy for Internet MCI. With more than 20 years of experience in the telecommunications and Internet industries, Bates has published 12 IETF RFCs in the areas of Internet routing and operations and holds nine patents in the area of Layer 2 and Layer 3 innovations.

Bates is also affiliated with YouTube, as he served as a member of its board before its acquisition of Google.

Bates is replacing current Skype CEO and former eBay (News - Alert) executive Josh Silverman, who is reported to be “moving on.” Bates will move to Skype’s Luxembourg’s headquarters at the end of October.

In a blog post, Cisco announced that its chief technical officer, Padmasree Warrior (News - Alert), will take over the group led by Bates.

“Tony has been a great leader and asset to Cisco over his nearly 15 years here,” wrote Cisco’s spokesman, John Earnhardt.

According to reports, Skype is on track to pass $1 billion in revenue this year, with a run-rate for $800 million for 2010. In June, the Internet telephony service averaged 124 million active users a month, with only 8.1 million actually paying.

Bates joins Skype as the company looks to make a strike at the public markets.In August, Skype filed for an initial public offering, but it’s unclear when it will be able to complete the stock sale.

To find out more about VoIP, check out the world’s premier IP communications event, ITEXPO West 2010, happening this week from Oct. 4 to 6 in Los Angeles, Calif. 

Tammy Wolf is a TMCnet copy editor. Previously she was assistant to the editor at The Darien Times, a weekly newspaper in Darien, Conn., where she edited submissions, did page layout and design and helped manage the newspaper´┐Żs website. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

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