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Report: Skype firing executives before Microsoft deal closes

While Skype's merger with Microsoft is not yet final it's getting close to becoming official. But before that happens it looks like the Internet phone company is firing some of its top executives. Bloomberg Businessweek reports via unnamed sources that Skype vice presidents David Gurle, Christopher Dean, Russ Shaw and Don Albert have all been fired from the company along with its chief marketing officer Doug Bewsher and its human relations head Anne Gillespie. Two more Skype executives, Ramu Sunkara and Allyson Campa, were also fired. They came from Skype's purchase earlier this year of Qik, a company that made a video conferencing software.

A Skype spokesperson admitted in a statement, "Skype, like any other pragmatic organization, constantly assesses its team structure to deliver its users the best products. As part of a recent internal shift, Skype has made some management changes.” All of these fired executives likely own stock in Skype but because they were fired before the Microsoft deal closed they won't receive as much compensation as they might have if they have stayed through the close of the merger.

As we have been reporting on for the past month, Microsoft announced its plans to purchase the Luxembourg-based Skype for $8.5 billion last May. Microsoft plans to make Skype into a division of the company and will integrate Skype into a number of its products including the Xbox 360 game console. Last Friday the Federal Trade Commission revealed that it has approved the merger between Microsoft and Skype which should close any day now.

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