Skype hires Cisco's Bates as CEO

Bates brings long experience running enterprise and service-provider units at Cisco

Skype has named Tony Bates as its next CEO, hiring him away from Cisco Systems, where he led some of the company's core businesses.

Bates brings deep experience in networking for enterprises, small businesses and service providers after 15 years at Cisco. Most recently, he was senior vice president and general manager of the Enterprise, Commercial and Small Business Division, reporting to Chairman and CEO John Chambers. He will take over Skype at the end of October, with Adrian Dillon, its chief financial and administrative officer, serving as interim CEO until that time. Bates will also become a member of Skype's board of directors. He replaces outgoing CEO Josh Silverman.

Skype has its roots in free or inexpensive VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) services but has been expanding into text and video messaging. Acquired by eBay in 2005, the company was taken private last year by its co-founders and a group of investment companies led by Silver Lake Partners. Earlier this year, Skype registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering. The company claims 560 million registered users around the world.

Cisco had said in a blog post earlier on Monday that Bates was leaving to pursue an unnamed opportunity. Padmasree Warrior, Cisco's CTO, added the title of senior vice president and general manager of the Enterprise, Commercial and Small Business Development Group. Bates has also led Cisco's service-provider equipment business and was instrumental in creating the CRS-1 carrier router and the Cius enterprise tablet, according to Cisco.

Skype could use Bates' experience after several shots at the enterprise market produced lackluster results, according to analyst Brian Riggs of Current Analysis.

"This could really turn things around for Skype and its plans to really build more critical strategy in the enterprise market," Riggs said. Bates understands the dynamics of the enterprise and small-business markets as well as voice, he said. Skype wants an enterprise business to help derive more revenue from its technology, something that has been a problem over the past few years, Riggs said.

Skype is unlikely to take on Cisco and other enterprise unified communications vendors head-on in the near future, instead working to better integrate its own services with existing equipment such as IP PBXes (private branch exchanges), Riggs said.

Meanwhile, Bates' move is likely to have a bigger impact on Skype than on Cisco, he said. "They do have quite a bit of qualified leadership within the company to step in and take his place," Riggs said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags business issuesInternet-based applications and servicestelecommunicationskypeNetworkingTelephony/conferencinginternetvideoCisco Systemspersonnel

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?