The Financial Times reports that Microsoft may shutter the Skype London offices (above), where the company was first founded in 2003, placing around 400 jobs at risk.
Microsoft had apparently “made the decision to unify some engineering positions, potentially putting at risk a number of globally focused Skype and Yammer roles“.
Microsoft has owned Skype since its purchase in 2011 for $8.5 billion, and has in recent years apparently been consolidating control of the company in Redmond.
Dan Wellman, who previously worked at Skype, said earlier this year that, “over a very short timespan”, Microsoft quickly replaced “every single manager with a connection to the original company” with one of its own managers, with another unnamed former employee calling the current company “a shell of the company it once was.”
The moves reflect in some ways the changes in the architecture of the Skype client itself, which is being engineered away from its P2P roots to a more centralized spoke and hub architecture, which should mean greater reliability and quality of service. Microsoft has also been working to integrate the service in their software offerings, the most recent been folding it into Windows 10 and allowing users to send SMS using the client.
Microsoft will start a “consultation process” to assist those affected with Microsoft “deeply committed to doing everything [it] can to help those impacted through the process.”
Do our readers think this move will harm the Skype brand and its ability to innovate, or is a long overdue move to get more value from an under-utilized asset? Let us know below.