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Skype, a leading voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP) company, on Monday announced that it had named Tony Bates, senior vice president of Cisco, as chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors.

Mr. Bates has over 20 years of leadership experience in the communications and Internet industries, most recently as general manager of Cisco’s enterprise, commercial and small business division. Mr. Bates was responsible for over $20 billion of annual revenue and managed over 12 500 employees worldwide. He was the driving force behind Cisco’s three key enterprise architectures known as borderless networks, data center and collaboration. Reporting to Cisco chairman and CEO John Chambers, Mr. Bates was a member of the senior staff responsible for charting the company’s global strategy and served on the Cisco development council, the video council, and the enterprise business council.

Mr. Bates, in addition to running Cisco’s enterprise division, has also served as general manager of Cisco’s service provider group, responsible for annual revenue of $10 billion. An expert on Internet technologies, Mr. Bates holds nine patents and has served on the boards of a range of technology companies including YouTube, TokBox, BubbleMotion and LoveFilm.

“Skype is not only a powerful global brand but also a global technology leader in Internet communications. There are extraordinary opportunities ahead for Skype and I am eager to lead the company through this exciting juncture in its continuing transformation. I look forward to working with Skype’s management team and talented employees to engineer the next wave of game-changing products and services for our users,” said Mr. Bates.

Skype today has over 560 million registered users in nearly every country.

“Josh Silverman, our outgoing CEO, has been instrumental in maintaining Skype’s momentum and growth. Since 2007, Skype has more than doubled its connected user base and billing minutes, introduced key new products for desktop and mobile platforms, and initiated successful partnerships with companies ranging from Avaya to Verizon. Looking ahead, we are very pleased to appoint Tony Bates as Skype’s new CEO," Egon Durban, managing director of Silver Lake, one of the company’s investors.

Tags: Skype, Cisco

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