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March 04, 2013

SKYPE News - Skype's Jonathan Rosenberg Leaves for Cisco

By Rory Lidstone, TMCnet Contributing Writer

A major part of the Skype team, Jonathan Rosenberg, recently left the company, returning to the company he worked at immediately prior to Skype, Cisco, to become a VP and CTO of cloud collaboration for the company. Rosenberg started at Skype as chief technology strategist, later becoming general manager of product strategy and research at Microsoft (News - Alert) after the software giant bought Skype back in late 2011.

According to Rosenberg's LinkedIn (News - Alert) profile, he rejoined Cisco sometime in February.

During his time with Skype, Rosenberg headed up the creation of the Skype Facebook (News - Alert) video calling feature, helping secure the deal, as well as develop the architecture and APIs and build the launch plan. He was also responsible for Skype's Windows 8 client and developed the company's WebRTC plans.

WebRTC is an open real-time communications protocol that enables text, video and audio chat between two Web browsers without the need for plug-ins. The fact that it doesn't need plug-ins and its HTML5 base make WebRTC mobile friendly. In other words, WebRTC is a serious potential threat to Skype and all other Web chat clients as its cross-platform interoperability and open nature give it a slight edge over any proprietary client — even one as ubiquitous as Skype.

As such, having the man who put together its WebRTC strategy must come as quite a blow to Skype.

Rosenberg has been described as the "father of SIP" by Comunicano (News - Alert), Inc. founder Andy Abramson. Although the voice over IP (VoIP) protocol isn't the basis of Skype, it is extremely common in enterprise networks and is used by other VoIP services, including Google Voice and Vonage (News - Alert).

Rosenberg's departure comes at a time of change for Skype as Microsoft is in the process of bringing Skype closer to its existing product lines. Indeed, recent months have seen other high-level employees leave Skype.

Still, though, considering Rosenberg's accomplishments at Skype, and the fact that Cisco fought to keep Microsoft from acquiring Skype, his departure may be the most significant to date.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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