×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Google Snaps Up Skype Engineers After Microsoft Disbands Stockholm Office (EXCLUSIVE)

Google has hired a number of key Skype engineers following Microsoft’s decision to close its office in Sweden’s capital Stockholm, Variety has learned. The new hires are likely going to help Google with its real-time communication services, which includes its corporate Meet video-conferencing service as well as its Duo video chat app.

Google didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The exact number of hires is unknown, but apparently in the double digits. A source with knowledge of the move told Variety that Google interviewed the majority of engineers at the location, and that almost everyone who ended up getting a job offer accepted it.

Microsoft employed a total of 120 people in its Stockholm office, but announced in March that it would close down the facility. The software giant had acquired the voice and video calling app for $8.5 billion in 2011, and has since turned Skype into its main real-time communications app. However, Microsoft has laid off a number of Skype employees in recent years, including 520 in 2016, when it closed down its London office and reduced Skype staff in Redmond.

Skype was originally founded some 14 years ago by Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, the Northern European duo that had previously launched the file sharing software Kazaa. Ebay acquired Skype for $2.6 billion in 2005. It changed hands again in 2009 when private investors, including its two original inventors, bought a 70% stake from Ebay, before eventually selling it to Microsoft in 2011.

Google itself has had mixed success in the space that Skype has long occupied. The company tried for some time to consolidate all of its chat, voice and video apps under the Hangouts banner, but more recently launched a number of separate apps for consumers and businesses, including its text chat app Allo and its video chat app Duo.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Gabrielle Carteris

    SAG-AFTRA Urges Gavin Newsom to Sign Law Punishing 'Deep Fake' Videos

    SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White is urging Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign legislation that institutes penalties for nonconsensual digital sexually explicit videos, also known as “deep fakes.” The legislation, Assembly Bill 602, targets companies and individuals who create and distribute the videos in California without the consent of the individual being depicted. “We urge Gov. [...]

  • Facebook Portal logo

    Facebook Is Launching a Portal TV Device: Here’s What We Know

    Facebook is getting ready to launch a TV streaming device in time for the holiday season, Variety has been able to confirm with multiple sources familiar with the company’s plans. The new streaming hardware will be part of the company’s Portal family of devices, featuring a camera, and combining video chatting with TV viewing and [...]

  • MoviePass card

    MoviePass Shuts Down, With Parent Company Citing Failure to Raise Funds

    MoviePass, the long-struggling theater subscription service, finally appears to be down for the count. On Friday, MoviePass notified remaining subscribers that it would be shutting down the service effective Sept. 14, 2019, because “its efforts to recapitalize MoviePass have not been successful to date,” parent company Helios and Matheson Analytics announced. “The company is continuing [...]

  • Disney Plus - Full Lineup

    How to Browse the Disney Plus Catalog the Company Is Testing in the Netherlands

    Disney began testing its Disney Plus streaming service in the Netherlands this week. Consumers in the U.S. will have to wait until November 12 to get access to the service, but European streaming aggregator JustWatch already makes it possible to browse the catalog available during this beta test. JustWatch is one of a number of [...]

  • JoJo Siwa'The Angry Birds Movie 2'

    Nickelodeon Star JoJo Siwa Gets Her Own Dance-Tour Mobile Game (EXCLUSIVE)

    Fans of JoJo Siwa will be able to join the teen influencer’s dance squad on stage — virtually — in a new mobile game. In “JoJo Siwa — Live to Dance,” players will become part of the Nickelodon and YouTube star’s worldwide tour on her professional dance team and experience what it’s like to be [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content