Skype has swooped in to hire Cisco executive Tony Bates as its new chief.
The VoIP provider said that Bates, who used to be a senior vice president at the networking firm, will join Skype at the end of this month and will serve as its chief executive and a member of the board of directors.
Skype talked up Bates’ 20-plus years of experience in the communications and internet industries.
“We are thrilled to bring on Tony Bates as Skype’s new CEO,” said Miles Flint, chairman of the company’s board of directors.
“His record of achievement and significant operational and management expertise, cultivated over a distinguished tenure at one of the world’s preeminent technology companies, presents a unique opportunity for Skype that we are enthusiastic to embrace.”
Bates was also applauded for his work in Cisco’s small business and enterprise divisions, which may provide some clue as to Skype’s intentions for him. A business focus, and a strong history in enterprise communications, will no doubt serve Skype well in trying to drive up revenues from its popular internet calling service.
The new CEO appointment follows Skype filing plans for an initial public offering in August, which is set to raise up to $100m, and eBay selling its majority stake in the business for about $2bn in September.
Bates will replace Josh Silverman at the helm, who said he planned to support the new team in ensuring a smooth transition. It is unclear what Silverman's next role will be.
Adrian Dillon, Skype’s chief financial and administrative officer, will serve as interim CEO until Bates joins.
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