Skype hires 400 staff but Yahoo may be set to axe 2,000

Updated on: 2012-04-04 || Source: bbc.com

Skype has announced plans to create about 400 new jobs across five cities.

The internet video-calling business - which is owned by Microsoft - said it is initially looking to take on staff in London and Stockholm.

Other posts will later be created in Tallinn, Estonia; Prague, Czech Republic and Palo Alto in California, USA.

The news coincides with an expected announcement of 2,000 job cuts at Yahoo.

All Things D has reported that the web portal is about to announce that it was axing the posts.

It said that the losses were expected to "hit hardest" in the firm's consumer products division which includes its email and messenger services. The news site added that a "larger purge" may follow at a later date.

Big data

As part of Skype's expansion the firm is launching a new technology centre in central London. It says the move will increase its headcount in the city by 40% to 330 posts.

It aims to have completed the first stage of the hiring process by the end of June.

Once all the new positions are filled the business expects to have 1,600 employees worldwide.

Skype's vice-president of product and design told the BBC the new jobs would cover software engineering, product management and design.

"We have one project about 'big data' which is about making use of data that our users generate when using the product to improve the quality of the products we offer," said Rick Osterloh.

"We also a number of initiatives we are working on in the web area, and we are hiring some positions for our newly formed Xbox division."

Mr Osterloh said the UK government's intention to give its security services increased access to internet data should not affect its plans.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has specifically identified Skype as one of the services that the government wants to be monitored.

However, Mr Osterloh said the peer-to-peer technology used for its call and instant messaging services meant that it did not store the contents of communications on its servers, and so would not be able to hand the information over.

'Reinventing company'

The reports of cuts at Yahoo follow a period of turmoil at the firm.

Carol Bartz was dismissed as chief executive in September after failing to turn around the company's fortunes. Chairman, Roy Bostock and co-founder Jerry Yang also later resigned from its board,

In January former Paypal executive Scott Thompson was named the organisation's fourth chief executive in five years.

The New York Times reports that the cuts are part of his plan to"reinvent the company" with new services and products, based in part on data derived from its 700 million users.

Yahoo could not be reached for comment.

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