Skype’n with Dave Gurle


I recently posted on NoJitter an interview with David Gurlé – formerly of Skype. David and I tried an interview while he was at Skype, but due to the quiet period associated with Skype’s upcoming IPO, we had a lot of trouble finding things he could talk about. David left Skype soon after Microsoft announced its intention to acquire the firm. He wasn’t alone – there was a mad rush at the exit. In addition to Vice President and General Manager for Skype for Business, David Gurlé; we also saw departures of Doug Bewsher, Chief Marketing Officer; Russ Shaw, General Manager and Vice President; Anne Gillespie, Head of Human Resources; Don Albert, General Manager and Vice President for the Americas and Advertising; Christopher Dean, Head of Consumer Market Business Development; and the recently acquired talent from Qik: Ramu Sunkara and Allyson Campa.

It wasn’t clear if these were resignations or firings – the press reported both. There was quite a bit in the media suggesting a royal screwing had occurred. As far as I know, no one has publicly stated exactly what happened. However, my instinct tells me that Silver Lake, Skype, and Microsoft are all far too savvy to have done anything blatantly wrong (wrong as defined by a jury). Just because David doesn’t work at Skype didn’t mean he was free to talk about everything so the topic of his departure is not covered. However, David seemed to be in high spirits, enjoying temporary unemployment and considering his next move. David is still residing in California, his adopted home. I probably should have asked him about French vs. California wine.

The posted interview is one of the longer ones I’ve done in my CxO series. David had some great insights. I wanted to prolong the discussion, so started asking broader questions like advice to carriers and thoughts about Android vs. IOS. His responses are great. Check out the interview – also Eric Krapf wrote a follow-up piece on the carrier part.

Dave Michels