infoTECH Feature

February 16, 2011

Skype Says Hiring Finnish Engineers Is 'Great Opportunity'

Skype may look to Finland to add new employees. This speculation comes after Nokia's new alliance with Microsoft (News - Alert) gives Skype a chance to interview Finnish engineers – who are now or may soon be looking for jobs, according to a report from Reuters.

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop announced a new partnership with Microsoft, whereby Nokia will use the Windows Phone (News - Alert) software for its devices. Because it is replacing the Symbian platform, there will be job reductions.

A union rep said the partnership could lead to losing more than 5,000 Finnish jobs at Nokia (News - Alert) or at its subcontractors.

Skype, which features free calls using the Internet, said it is planning to hire 350 employees during 2011.

"There is going to be tremendous talent out there," Skype CEO Tony Bates (News - Alert), told Reuters during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. "Our primary engineering focus just so happens to be somewhere between Finland, Estonia and Stockholm, so you can imagine that's a great opportunity and we're hiring.”

In other recent company news, Skype acquired mobile video company Qik in January. Bates said his company would look for more acquisitions to expand its mobile and video offering.

Based on information from the Qik blog, TMCnet said, Qik began in 2010 with about 600,000 users. By December 2010 it had 5 million users, according to BusinessInsider. The huge increase was largely a result of partnerships with Sprint, T-Mobile (News - Alert), Nokia and Samsung.

TMCnet reported that Skype has also introduced a Mobile Partner Program for operators in markets where there is lower than average 3G broadband penetration. The program will provide the Skype experience to mobile users and allows “carriers to differentiate their offerings in a competitive market environment,” TMCnet said.

In other company news, Skype may at some point offer an IPO. So far, no firm plans have been announced.

Skype was acquired for $3.1 billion by eBay. EBay sold a majority stake in the company to a group of investors that included: Silver Lake, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Andreessen Horowitz.

Ed Silverstein is a TMCnet contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

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