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eBay names beancounter for top Skype job

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Ebay chief beancounter Rajiv Dutta has been named president of Skype as the online auction site attempts to capitalise on its $4bn acquisition of the VoiP outfit.

Dutta will work with Skype chief exec Niklas Zennstrom and eBay's head auctioneer Meg Whitman to help integrate the internet telephony business across eBay.

Whitman described Dutta's contribution to eBay over the last seven years as "enormous" and reckons he'll play "an even bigger role in eBay's future" by helping Skype reach its "full potential".

Curiously, it was this "full potential" that was of interest yesterday as eBay announced its latest set of results. Described as "a gamble", there are plenty who question whether the addition of VoIP software will be a hit with buyers and sellers.

But speaking yesterday Whitman said VoIP was jolly important and that phone calls would eventually be free, reports Reuters, with telcos making their cash from transactions or advertising.

Whitman was speaking as eBay reported record consolidated Q3 revenues of $1.1bn - up 37 per cent on the same period last year. At the same time operating income rose 40 per cent to $356.7m. Net income came in at $255m, compared to $182m last year.

Describing how the results exceeded the company's own top estimates, Whitman said: "We saw very strong growth across every part of our business in Q3."

While the US saw revenues increase 29 per cent to $449m, its international operations soared 42 per cent to $409m.

Looking ahead, eBay warned that profits would be reined back to pay for recent acquisitions including Skype. ®

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