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October 1, 2007

Skype chief executive steps down

by Lin Freestone

Niklas Zennström, the co-founder of Skype has stepped down from his post as chief executive officer for the peer-to-peer messaging service. Zennström has been appointed non-executive chairman of Skype's board of directors.

The chief strategy officer of Ebay will temporarily take over the executive chair of Skype until a permanent replacement is appointed.

Ebay acquired Skype for $2.6bn in 2005. In its most recent quarter, Skype recorded disappointing revenues of $90m. There are currently 220 million registered users of the service.

Since the sale of Skype to Ebay, Niklas Zennström has started up a new online video company under the Joost brand, which was officially unveiled in January 2007.

In August Skype was hit by a much-publicised, two-day outage, which was embarrassing for the company. The service interruption has been traced back to an error in the Skype software that was triggered by a Microsoft update.

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