While doing a broad search through an agency for its new CEO, eBay went internally to announce this morning the appointment of shopping.com CEO Josh Silverman as Skype’s new CEO effective in four weeks (March 24). From the eBay press release:
Silverman, currently CEO of Shopping.com, an eBay company, brings more than nine years of experience in running hyper-growth global consumer Internet companies. Silverman will join Skype on March 24, 2008 and report directly to John Donahoe, President and CEO-elect of eBay Inc. Michael van Swaaij, who was appointed interim CEO in October 2007, will stay actively involved with Skype.
Josh is an eBay veteran, having served, prior to his Shopping.com role, as General Manager for Marketplaats.nl and been involved with building eBay’s classifieds business in Europe. Prior to joining eBay in 2003, he was a co-Founder and CEO of Evite, a social event planning service that I have used several times successfully, most recently for my high school’s 50th anniversary reunion.
Josh does get blogging; He’s already put up his first post:
So what can you expect from me? That I’m serious about wanting to build the greatest products — and the greatest company — on Earth. That doing so means listening well, being willing to think different and take risks. And in everything we do, one thing is certain: we’ll always have the best interests of the Skype community at heart.
I’m the new guy, and have a lot to learn. To really understand Skype’s cultural and technological DNA, my number one priority is to do a lot of listening and learning. With my wife and kids about to begin their adventure in Estonia as well, I have all the support I could ever need. I want to know everything about the technology, the team and the community. And I hope to share some of my observations on this very blog and see what you think, too.
So, with their business headquarters having been in London, but the primary development team in Estonia, the questions arises as to why he is planning a move to Estonia? Is this a precursor to moving out of that expensive London real estate?
And my second question has to be, given you want some time to learn-and-listen,: “How many days do you have to be on board to make some significant statements on the forthcoming direction of Skype?” (Recalling, tongue-in-cheek, Jerry Yang’s “100 Days” at Yahoo that eventually resulted in an unfriendly offer from Microsoft.)
Welcome, Josh! You have your challenges, but if you succeed, Skype can become one of the most powerful communications forces going for building a peaceful world as we witness power shifts from centralized enterprises and organizations to the individual. We wish you luck as you take on your responsibilities.
Tags: Skype, eBay, Shopping.com, Josh Silverman