Skype Names Cisco’s Tony Bates as CEO

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Did they tell him over webcam?

Tony Bates, the senior vice president of Cisco’s Service Provider Group, has been named the new CEO of Skype. He is replacing Josh Silverman, who is leaving the company for as-yet-unknown reasons.

Bates is something of a communications guru: he holds nine patents and has served on the boards of companies as diverse as YouTube, TokBox and LoveFilm. (An aside: What is it with tech companies and CamelCase?)

The move comes at a busy time for Skype. The company was sold by eBay in the summer of 2009 (eBay still owns a minority share) and filed for a $100 million IPO this August. What the Bates hiring means for Skype is unclear to NewsFeed; Engadget thinks it points to greater cooperation between Skype and Cisco, while ZDNet sees Skype becoming a thorn in Cisco’s side. The observers at Gigaom, for their part, think the move is a sign Skype will focus more on penetrating “carrier and enterprise markets,” whatever those are. (via CNNMoney)

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