Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Departing Skype Exec Gillett to Become Head of “Value Creation” at Silver Lake


Earlier today, I broke the news that top Skype exec Mark Gillett was leaving the Microsoft-owned telephony unit.

The internal memo I referenced did not say where he was headed, but apparently it is back to a place he has worked before: Private equity giant Silver Lake.

(Mystery managed, as the British Gillett might say!)

He will become head of value creation there in December, replacing Charles Giancarlo, who will transition into a senior adviser role.

Until today, Gillett was corporate VP at Skype and Lync at Microsoft, in charge of its product, engineering and operations globally; he managed 2,500 developers. He had been at Skype since before Microsoft bought it in 2011.

He had previously led Silver Lake value creation team in Europe, with the deal for Skype being his most prominent effort.

“Mark’s accomplishments at Skype have transformed the company,” said Silver Lake managing partner Egon Durban in a statement. “He is poised to make a significant contribution to our portfolio companies going forward.”

At Silver Lake, according to a press release, Gillett will “lead the firm’s value creation activities as Silver Lake professionals continue to partner with the senior management of portfolio companies to refine and evolve business and technology strategy, enhance operational performance and accelerate business transformation.”

(I have no idea what that means, but it sounds important.)

Giancarlo, who is a well-known tech exec, is expected to eventually move to a top operational job at a company. His name had been raised as a possible CEO of Yahoo, for example, among others. He will remain at Silver Lake through the end of the year, before taking up his advisory role.

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There was a worry before I started this that I was going to burn every bridge I had. But I realize now that there are some bridges that are worth burning.

— Valleywag editor Sam Biddle