TALLINN - Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, which last week announced the purchase of Skype for 8.5 billion dollars, made a quick visit to Tallinn on May 14, reports Aripaev. Ballmer and Skype’s manager Tony Bates, who will be appointed Microsoft Skype Division president, visited the Skype development center in Tallinn. They also met with Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and had dinner in Tallinn.
President Toomas Hendrik Ilves told Aripaev that Estonia will remain the location of the Skype development center. “Mr. Ballmer confirmed very strongly that Tallinn will remain the place where ideas come from and where they are created,” said Ilves.
Ilves said that they talked with Ballmer about Skype, Microsoft’s interest towards Estonia, e-state and e-Europe. Ilves said that Estonia does not excel with its IT solutions just in Europe, but does so also in the U.S.
Ballmer said after the meetings in Skype that he is very happy about the Skype team. “We are very excited about the Microsoft and Skype deal; I am happy about the fantastic team I spent today in Tallinn with,” he said.
Skype’s board chairman Tony Bates added that Skype is very happy about cooperation with Microsoft. “It is good for the state; it is good for the Skype brand. Steve has been here for the whole day with his team and it has been a good opportunity to understand how Microsoft and Skype work – we are happy we can cooperate,” said Bates.
Skype Estonia CEO Sten Tamkivi and Microsoft Estonia CEO Rain Laane said on Kuku radio last Saturday that Skype will remain a separate company for a long time to come. There is also no reason to think that Skype’s development branch, which has around 400 specialists working in it, could be relocated from Estonia.