Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Face to face: Skype CEO Josh Silverman

Interview by Ingrid Lunden
Wednesday 27 May 09

"People originally thought of us as a voice company, but chat is the most used application. Voice is number two, with video a close number three."

VoIP provider Skype burst onto the scene in 2003 riding on a wave of hype. The free, Internet-based phone service was attracting users by the millions, and two years after it launched its first public beta it was bought by auction giant eBay for $2.6 billion. Fast forward to 2009, and eBay has announced its intentions to offload the company, either through a sale or an IPO, after failing to find enough synergies between the two properties. The priority today for Josh Silverman, the current CEO of Skype, is to reposition the company as a revenue-generating machine that can capitalise on its customer base of 443.2 million. The company reported revenues of $550 million in 2008 — in Silverman's estimation "not bad", but still equating to ARPUs of a very modest $1.24 annually. Where does Silverman see Skype making money going forward? For one thing Skype is looking at how to integrate more advertising into the service…

VoIP provider Skype burst onto the scene in 2003 riding on a wave of hype. The free, Internet-based phone service was attracting users by the millions, and two years after it launched its first public beta it was bought by auction giant eBay for $2.6 billion. Fast forward to 2009, and eBay has announced its intentions to offload the company, either through a sale or an IPO, after failing to find enough synergies between the two properties. The priority today for Josh Silverman, the current CEO of Skype, is to reposition the company as a revenue-generating machine that can capitalise on its customer base of 443.2 million. The company reported revenues of $550 million in 2008 — in Silverman's estimation "not bad", but still equating to ARPUs of a very modest $1.24 annually. Where does Silverman see Skype making money going forward? For one thing Skype is looking at how to integrate more advertising into the service…

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