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What To Do with eBay Billions

If Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom is looking for guidance on how to spend his eBay windfall, he might want to have lunch with eBay founder and chairman Pierre Omidyar, who has a growing investment portfolio being done through Omidyar Network. His latest investment is Digg.com, which recently raised $2.8 million, according to Silicon Beat. Omidyar's other investments include Feedster,
Socialtext, Dan Gilmour's Grassroots Media and John Battelle's FM
Publishing. Zennstrom may want to follow the path taken by eBay's first employee,
Jeff Skoll, who has become very involved with philanthropic work. Skoll, a Montreal-native
and a University of Toronto grad ( have to wave the Maple Leaf!) has also invested in a film production company. With eBay CFO
Rajiv Dutta
poised to become Skype's new president after his successor is found,
perhaps Zennstrom better start looking for his next gig. The big
question is what Zennstrom does next? After Kazaa and Skype, he'll have
no problem raising venture capital – if he really needs any financial
help at all – but the expectations will be sky high. There is no doubt
Zennstrom will stay in the Internet space but his next move will be
very intriguing and exciting. If I was a  betting man, I'd say it
would be something related to streaming   video. Why video?
it's a hot market, Zennstrom has already done  music and voice
(which leaves video as the last the big three markets to be tackled),
he knows how to build a global brand, and his track record will allow
him to bring in strategic investors such as television networks and
movie studios. Anyone else prepared to make a bold prediction
on what the future holds for Mr. Z. (Nortel CEO Mike
Zafirovski being the other one.)

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  • Jamez4all

    Mr. Z Cut his nose to spite his face… disgruntled to such a degree of tantrum, how much could he care about a company he leads if he cares so little about his own personal consequences.
    Mr. Z. certainly lacks the calm, tolerance, and resolve Owens displays, he would never quit, Mike already did with Motorola. Owens also had multiply greater credentials as only God knows where NT would be right now with anyone but anyone else at the helm. Losing Mr. Z is a blessing in disgiuise for Nortel on too many fronts which I'll leave expanding on for another post.
    I think Mr. Z ran into a very unfortunate circumstance not unlike Nortel's shareholders in that he just lost what most people consider a lot of money, 11 million dollars, due to a lawsuit. The difference here being of course he was the master of his own predicament, he was not robbed, lied to, and cheated but rather did the robbing, lies, and cheating. Seems like a real shoe in for NT doesn't it?
    That's a lot of grudge for this aspiring axeman to carry around, knowingly agreeing to not go with a competitor but in spite of signing 8 formal contracts, went right out and did it anyways. Wow…. wow is an understatement, this is utterly astounding…
    Did he inform Nortel of this? If so nothing has changed there… Did the headhunter really know of this in advance or were his commissions distorting the possible outcome,? Where was this newly appointed ethics officer, what a joke, don't tell she passed him, LOL. Did they not know he lied under a legal contract and pulled anoyher wait and see with their traditional wait and see's like their desperate gambles in ventures that are admittedly losing lately. Because this was a really, really dumb move. I'd love to hear what Kevin Oleary of ROB TV would have to say about this.
    The law stipulates one can't take a mans livlihood away with the intent to alleviate destitution, understanibly. If this is the premise he went with after renegging, he got some really lousey legal advice. I understand Illinois is one of the few sates that won't honour this anyways, where he signed. regardless, even here, I hardly think the remuneration above and beyond his 11 million would render Mr. Z destitute or unable to provide for basic neccessities which is the premise/intent of the law. Albeit if this might drives him to drink with his tolerance and may indeed someday be a social assistance rescipient as a result LOL.
    In the meantime. Motorola won't let this go, they mean business, they said so much, and Mike must pay for defrauding them. What he signed, a leagally binding legal agreement with cash was his big lie in taking the job with Nortel. If Nortel compensates him for this, they would have paid good money for nothing, he can not start, well at least for 2 years according to the agreement. If he does, however unlikely, I suspect Nortel will lose a supplier for it's CDMA gear and face a lawsuit that thwarts what they seek from Mike Z.
    Nortel (NT) doesn't need another lawsuit on its hands so i suspect they will shy away from this like the plague…NT must back down. NT is mediating to possibly settle lawsuits with a defined amount so they can try and refinance debt, albeit with unreliable numbers, rapidly decling cash, margins, credibility, staff turnover, negative outllok described well in Moodys credit rating that is traspiring before our eyes, losing business everywhere and even ventures are failing, Putians taking in Noika with NT out, LG losing 70 profit last quarter, all admittedly with “no substantial returns” (even BSNL is now taking ten times their lost leader of 5 billion to lower priced competitors if they claimed the Cingular loss did a number on their wireless to get an idea, let alone dead Vorizon who rallied the stock pre fraud, BT used everyone but them in their 19 billion dollar tender, and even companys in their own back yard want nothing to do with them like Sprint Canada who went with Lucent, or BMO who ripped out all Nortel gear and replaced it with Cisco's, etc., no one want anything to do with their fraud on principle or maybe they just do not have confidence they will be around on their fundamentals and outlook… )
    Anyways, with all these woes, another lawsuit above the 9 billion lawsuit amalgamating right now in the US at that to Nortel's horror is not what NT needs..
    Mike will be in limbo now I suspect, out big bucks for making a stupid bold move because Motorola passed him by and didn't let him be boss. He shot himself in the foot, his woes are his own doing as are Nortel's.
    Gary Deichendt was nothing like Mike as Nortel did not readily dismiss the slander painting him to be some kind of megalomaniac and lunatic, he also was not a fraud. So what did Nortel do? They went out and got some one who fit the bill better on both counts, in fraud and megalomania. The lunacy remains to be proven by the aseman with overwhemling enthusiam and optimsim before even starting, ot took gary moneths to find out what he learned and he was not optimsitic. he might have taken gary's advice in the heads up on the code red politics there too, only some one trained like owens coauld handle under the immense pressure NT is under.
    Even if he did start at Nortel, which I strongly doubt, will Nortel trust him to not compete with some one else later if the board ties his hands or he gets in a huff with their heated turmoil and internal politics or can Mike trust Nortel to live up to its commitments in light of their rolling over on those they held close relationships, endless contradictions, and lack of credibility. Birds of a feather certainly flock together on this one, either in sinisterism or in total ongoing astounding blunder.

  • Jamez4all

    Furthermore,
    We knew they were selling headquarters, was market the that unaware or retention challenged to effect the stock so negatively? Were they living in denial they would fill that ghost town again? Heh, what will they do if criminal charged hit the fan now? Or when the multiply more unexpected surprises we keep getting hit with surface. People really have to know more about their ongoings like paying bonuses when 2005 has less earnings (-4M) than 2004's lowest sales since the mid 1990's (74M)… Currie got 500M and a recent 8K showed these bonus happy fraud's bonuses they cooked to maintain or moved changed numbers that can not be duplicated from earlier periods into 2003 after so many delays in silence… People must know what goes on with a stock lacking auditor approval let alone the SECs when paying bonuse while hiding behind weak controls with no refunds… this breaks rule number one to prevent this from happenign again… bonuses they fixed at the shareholders meeting to keep, a few hundred million, as they dilute 100M every time they update CAP, and they gripe about losing 200M with BSNL… only God knows how bad it really is… onmly insiders see money there with Roth envy, not the shareholders/owners…
    They supposedly sold this hard to get paid for manufacturing to Flextronics but it is always next year, next year, and partial payment at that, plus now they don't want it all…
    even more bay infered by all the high profilers suddenly/abruptly abandoning the ship like pessimistic Gary abruptly quitting, Deroma sudenly retiring before his greatest moment during Nortel's darkest hour, the largest lawsuits to ever hit Nortel, the sudden departure of Malcolm Collins the head on enterprise Nortel remains ever so mute about, and the sudden departure of their CEO that even their CEO didn't know about…
    I know there is probably a lot more I missed but the ongoing news with now their newest CEO hitting us with lies, hype, and a lawsuit from day one, or worst yet, before he even starts is not good new s further to “no one want anything to do with them…
    it is sooooooooo endless… this company deserves exposure as the wheels of justice turn too slow for the aging widows with shattered pension dreams and the chronically suffering silent majority… More must be done to be heard! People must know!

  • MichaelGW

    Microsoft continues to buy VoIP companies – after Teleo this summer, MS bought Swiss VoIP company (Media-streams.com) last week. What do you think would be SkypeÂ’s value if MS (or Google) buys GIPS (current voice engine provider to Skype)?