Niklas Zennstrom Steps Down as CEO of Skype
San Jose, Calif.- eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) today announced that Niklas Zennstrom has stepped down as CEO of Skype. Zennstrom, who co-founded Skype in 2003, will become non-executive chairman of the Skype Board of Directors. Michael van Swaaij, eBay’s Chief Strategy Officer, will become acting CEO until a permanent successor is found. Russell Reynolds Associates is conducting the search for Zennstrom’s replacement.
Henry Gomez, Skype’s President, who remained a Senior Vice President at eBay during his two-year tenure at Skype, will return to eBay as Senior Vice President for Corporate Affairs, reporting to President and CEO Meg Whitman.
eBay also announced that it has paid €375 million (approximately $530 million) to settle all of its future obligations under the earn-out agreement signed with certain Skype shareholders when eBay acquired Skype in 2005. The earn-out agreement provided for payments of up to approximately €1,200 million (approximately $1,700 million) based upon specific active user, revenue and gross profit targets that were to be achieved in 2008 and the first half of 2009. eBay believes that the €375 million payment is reasonable given the progress and anticipated rapid growth of Skype’s active user base.
eBay expects that the €375 million payment (approximately $530 million), together with an additional amount of €630 million (approximately $900 million), will be taken as an impairment charge to be recorded as part of its Q3 financial results.
The above-mentioned dollar amounts are based on an exchange rate of €1 to $1.41.
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