Bill Gates backed Skype purchase

Written by Harry Butler

May 18, 2011 // 11:35 a.m.

Tags: #bill-gates #billion #microsoft #skype #steve-balmer

Microsoft founder and former CEO Bill Gates has confirmed that he was a driving force behind Microsoft's decision to purchase Skype for $8.5 billion.

Despite having left his position as CEO Microsoft to concentrate on philanthropy via the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, Gates remains as Chairman, and is still involved in making high-level decisions at the boardroom level.

Speaking to the BBC, Gates stated that he 'was a strong proponent at the board level for the deal being done,', adding that the purchase, which many analysts feel cost Microsoft too much money, was a 'great, great deal for Skype. I think it's a great deal for Microsoft.'

Plenty of intrigue still surrounds the deal, with rumours that Google had been closing in on Skype before Microsoft came in to scoop up the IP-telephony service and its 600 million users.

Do you think that Bill has merely been wheeled out to calm jittery investors? Does he still have a place in the industry after leaving Microsoft? Let us know in the forums.

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