Cisco loses VoIP executive to Skype

Skype has managed to pinch Cisco Systems VoIP executive Tony Bates as their new CEO.

It marks another battle unified communications war between Cisco and Skype as they compete to produce the best video conferencing products. To make the stakes even higher rumours have been swirling for a while that Cisco intends to buy Skype.

While he was at Cisco, Bates helped to generate $20 billion in sales by guiding 12,500 employees in his team. Having been described as a key player at the heart of Cisco's business, Bates will be sorely missed. He spent more than 10 years overseeing Cisco products such as the CRS-1 tablet.

Bates will start at Skype in late October. He said: "Skype is a powerful global brand and a global technology leader in VoIP communications,"
"There are extraordinary opportunities ahead for the company and I am eager to lead at this exciting juncture and continue transformation."
This is not the first time that Cisco have lost an important executive to Skype. In November Jonathan Rosenberg left Cisco to become the chief technology officer for Skype. Meanwhile Joseph Burton left Cisco's UC team to become CTO for Polycom.

It is clear that a rapid market shakeup is taking place at a time when the VoIP industry is burgeoning. Cisco has said that within the next five years video will account for 90% of all internet network traffic.
That explains why Cisco will soon announce a Telepresence solution for the home.

Skype is also bringing enterprise VoIP to the fore with new video-conferencing features in collaboration with Avaya. Gaining this extra business revenue will be a key part of Bate's job. Only a small fraction of Skype's 124 million monthly users actually pay for the service so he will be tasked with improving this.

Skype CEO Joshua Silverman said in a statement: "I'm proud to have led company growth during this critical transition period.
"Today Skype has over 560 million registered users worldwide and continues to develop popular products and services.
"With a world-class communications industry veteran like Tony, Skype is well-positioned to become the standout communications platform for consumers and businesses around the world."

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