Former Sony Ericsson President Is Now Skype Chairman

Skype has made Miles Flint, former president of Sony Ericsson Mobile, its new chairman, and former Thomson Reuters exec David Gurle the vice president of its business unit. The new placements arrive in time for Skype to begin deploying video calls on HDTVs.

Skype has named Miles Flint, former president of Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications, its new chairman, according to reporting from Bloomberg.

Flint is an adviser to the private-equity firm Silver Lake, which in September purchased 70 percent of Skype from eBay for approximately $2 billion.

In his new position, Flint will coordinate activities among the board's committees, according to Bloomberg. Skype's board members include venture capitalist Marc Andreessen and eBay Chief Executive John Donahoe.

On Jan. 12, Skype additionally added telecommunications veteran David Gurle to its executive roster, as the general manager and vice president of its Skype for Business unit. Gurle was formerly at Thomson Reuters, where he was its Global Head of Collaboration Services, as well as the head of its Sales & Trading Business Division - Thomson Reuters' largest business in Asia.

"We are very excited to add David to Skype's management team and are confident that he can lead and direct the Skype for Business team's next stage of development and growth," Josh Silverman, Skype's president, said in a statement.

"He has years of experience and a terrific reputation for building and leading world-class teams. He also brings product vision, technology depth and a track record of success in creating and selling real-time communications software to enterprises that will prove invaluable as we continue to develop our Skype for Business proposition," Silverman continued.

Skype recently announced that, with partners LG Electronics and Panasonic, it will begin embedding Skype software into HDTVs. Set to arrive in mid 2010, the televisions, in cooperation with special Webcams, will enable users to make and receive high-definition video calls on the largest screen in the room.

"Since its inception, Skype has been used by many entrepreneurs and small businesses to save money on their communications," Gurle said in the Jan. 12 statement. "Moving forward, our goal is to educate and attract larger organizations that can not only save money by using Skype to communicate, but also increase their organizational productivity and enhance the way they interact with customers around the globe."

According to Skype, in the third quarter of 2009, its users spent 27.7 billion minutes on Skype-to-Skype calls, a third of which were video calls.