Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Exiting Skype Founder Gives Blogger Exclusive Interview

Posted by Tom Foremski - October 1, 2007

Niklas Zennstrom, Skype founder, left the company Monday as parent Ebay announced third quarter charges of $1.275bn related to its Skype acquisition.

Mr Zennstrom gave an exclusive interview to Thomas Crampton, a blogger and former journalist with the International Herald Tribune.(Hat Tip Dennis Howlett)

In the interview, Mr Zennstrom says:

“Some people have been critical of Skype, but I am very proud of the company’s growth,” Zennstrom said in a telephone interview with ThomasCrampton.com. “Very few companies can claim to match the growth trajectory Skype is on and continues to be on.”

. . .

Those calling for Skype to further increase revenues from users fail to understand the balance that must be struck between seeking profits and supporting expectations built around free phone calls.
“Some people may want to monetize faster, but the key is to figure out what is the right speed of monetization,” Zennstrom said to ThomasCrampton.com. “If you act too aggressively, there is a real risk you will lose the huge active user base.”

. . .

“I am an entrepreneur who starts and launches companies,” Zennstrom said. “It is time for someone else to take it to the next level.”

“Beyond creating a business, Skype literally touches millions of lives and this is something to be proud of,” Zennstrom said. “I would like to think that we have contributed to making the world a little bit flatter.”
Another achievement not to be ignored was launching a global Internet company out of Europe, Zennstrom added: “It was not easy.”

Read the full interview here: SCOOP: Zennstrom defends Skype while stepping down

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