eBay today announced that Niklas Zennstrom (co-founder of Skype, Kazaa and Joost) has stepped down as CEO of Skype. Zennstrom, who co-founded Skype in 2003, will become non-executive chairman of the Skype Board of Directors. Michael van Swaaij, eBay’s Chief Strategy Officer, will become acting CEO until a permanent successor is found.
eBay also announced that it has paid $530 million to settle all of its future obligations under the earn-out agreement signed with certain Skype shareholders when eBay acquired Skype in 2005. The earn-out agreement provided for payments of up to approximately $1,700 based upon specific active user, revenue and gross profit targets that were to be achieved in 2008 and the first half of 2009.