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Skype executives booted out amid Microsoft takeover

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Almost immediately following the Federal Trade Commission’s approval of Microsoft’s $8.5 billion purchase of Skype, the Internet voice and video chat company has fired a slew of its senior executives, reports Bloomberg. The staff changes include a number of Skype vice presidents.

“Skype, like any other pragmatic organization, constantly assesses its team structure to deliver its users the best products,” a Skype spokesperson said in an email to the press. “As part of a recent internal shift, Skype has made some management changes.”

Those who lost their jobs include Skype Vice Presidents David Gurle, Christopher Dean, Russ Shaw and Don Albert. Other executives include Chief Marketing Officer Doug Bewsher, and head of human resources, Anne Gillespie.

Ramu Sunkara and Allyson Campa, who were absorbed by Skype after its 2011 purchase of their video conferencing company Qik, were also let go.

Corporate PR speak aside, it remains unclear why the execs lost their positions with the company. Some of it could have to do with an overlap of personnel, like in the case of the HR and marketing departments. Another option, according to Bloomberg, is that firing the executives saves Skype and Microsoft a lot of money as those who lost their jobs would also lose their unused stock options and other bonuses.

The FTC announced Saturday that it would let Microsoft proceed with its purchase of Skype, which ranks as the largest-ever acquisition by Microsoft. The deal will now move on for review by the US Department of Justice. Both governmental bodies must oversee any business acquisition that is worth more than $65.2 million.

In other Skype news: the company announced on its blog today greater integration with Facebook in the Skype 5.5 Beta version for Windows. Users will now be able to chat with their Facebook fans directly through Skype.

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