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Skype fills out with middle age

New technology and strategy officers

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

VoIP provider Skype has decided to appoint Chief Officers for Technology and Strategy, creating both roles within days of the release of its latest Windows Mobile client.

Both posts are newly created, and fill out a management team at an important time for the company as rival services based on industry-standard protocols start to bite and the cost of telecommunications in general falls.

Daniel Berg, formally of Sun, will take on the Chief Technology Officer and will be based in London. Daniel was, apparently, a "Distinguished Engineer" at Sun, and has written a couple of books including Dot-Com & Beyond: Breakthrough Internet Based Architecture & Methodologies, which might prove useful working for a company that still can't seem to make enough money.

Increasing the income will, no doubt, be a key interest of the new Chief Strategy Officer Christopher Dean. He's got lots of experience with start-ups, and will be based in San Jose, California.

At least international communications should be cheap, and the latest Windows Mobile client brings the desktop Skype experience onto a phone pretty seamlessly - if that's what you want. Mobile VoIP services such as Truphone are better integrated with the phone, thanks to their use of the industry-standard SIP protocol, but Skype is still the predominant VoIP service.

Since being bought by eBay Skype has been a less than stellar acquisition - the tat-bazaar-turned-online-mall paid $2.6bn for Skype in 2005, and in April was considering selling it off at a discount while still maintaining that the business could make money. It's just possible that these new appointments will make a better management team for a stand-alone company, if eBay decides it's had enough of their VoIP service.

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