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Skype on Monday confirmed one of Cisco's top executives as its new CEO. Tony Bates, currently Cisco's senior vice president, enterprise, commercial and small business group, will join Skype as its chief executive and also as a member of its board of directors later this month.
Bates is a major player at Cisco. A 15-year veteran, he reports directly to Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers and was a key architect of the company's Borderless Networks, data center, UC and collaboration strategies, including the forthcoming Cius tablet. He was also a past general manager of Cisco's Service Provider unit, overseeing the group when Cisco's CRS-1 carrier core router was introduced in 2004.
Cisco confirmed Bates' departure in a corporate blog post Monday, saying that Bates' responsibilities would now come under Padmasree Warrior, Cisco's chief technical officer. Cisco downplayed Bates' departure, indicating that Bates "leaves the company to pursue another opportunity" and that he "has been a great leader and asset to Cisco over his nearly 15 years here."
According to a statement from Skype, Bates will join the company officially at the end of October, replacing Joshua Silverman. Adrian Dillon, Skype's Chief Financial and Administrative Officer, will serve as interim CEO before Bates' arrival.
"Skype is not only a powerful global brand but also a global technology leader in Internet communications," said Bates in a statement. "There are extraordinary opportunities ahead for Skype and I am eager to lead the company through this exciting juncture in its continuing transformation."