The chief executive of Internet calling company Skype reiterated Monday that his unit enjoyed the full support of parent firm eBay and expressed optimism about the company's potential. "(EBay chief executive John Donahoe) is extremely supportive of Skype," Josh Silverman, who became chief executive of Skype in March, said during a press event on the sidelines of an OECD ministerial meeting on the Internet economy.
"And who wouldn't be? It's one of the fastest growing companies in human history," Silverman added. In April, Silverman brushed off a Financial Times report that eBay would think about selling Skype at the end of the year if it could not find ways to make the service aid its main online auction business. The company had intended for the Skype acquisition to bolster its business through call-billing payment tie-ins between Skype and eBay's PayPal online payments service, but the union has not lived up to expectations.
Skype and PayPal are two of eBay's biggest divisions, but while PayPal has steadily contributed to earnings growth, eBay took a $1.4 billion write-down off Skype's $4.3 billion price tag last year, to reflect problems in making money from largely free Internet voice communications.
Silverman added that Skype - which changed the way many people make calls and whose name became a byword for Internet telephony -- was profitable. "We announced that the first quarter results were the fifth consecutive quarter of profitability," Silverman said. "Our challenge today is not to earn the highest profit margin at Skype, it's to be able to invest fast enough to realize full potential," he added.