Today in Tech: Did Skype fire execs to avoid pricey payouts?

June 20, 2011, 10:30 AM UTC

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“If you invent frequently and are willing to fail, then you never get to that point where you really need to bet the whole company.” – Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO (GeekWire)


Bloomberg reports that Skype fired several high-ranking executives — including vice presidents David Gurle, Christopher Dean, Russ Shaw, and Don Albert — suggesting the Internet calling company may have done so to avoid even pricier employee payouts once the Microsoft acquisition deal goes through. (Bloomberg)

Y Combinator’s Paul Graham took to Bloomberg TV to discuss how his startup incubator recently received the most applications ever — 2000-plus — and why Dropbox is worth more than the apartment-swapping startup, Airbnb, which made deadlines of its own in recent weeks for reportedly raising $100-million-plus at a $1 billion valuation. (Bloomberg TV via Silicon Alley Insider and TechCrunch)

* Colleague Dan Primack suggests pundits pouncing on Pandora’s oscillating share value (see: “Pandora’s Pox” or “Pandora IPO debacle“) chill out. “Reaching conclusions based on just three days of trading is sophomoric,” he writes. (Fortune)

* A former Research in Motion (RIM) employee weighs in on why the BlackBerry smartphone maker has it rough right now. (The company slashed its full-year profit expectations by 30% and also expects to layoff some of its staff.) “They honestly think they understand consumer product, business, mentality, marketing — but they really don’t,” the source said. (Silicon Alley Insider and CNNMoney)

* Enigmatic (and unregulated) peer-to-peer online currency Bitcoin may be enjoying success — heck, it’s even accepted at a restaurant now — but don’t expect that to the case for much longer. (Fortune)

* Following in the footsteps of recent offerings like CityVille, Zynga’s newest social game, Empires & Allies, has seen some pretty impressive growth: more than 30 million users in the 17 days since its launch. (VentureBeat)

* Alphonso Labs, the makers of Pulse, raised $9 million during its most recent round of funding. The popular cross-platform news reader now claims 4 million users across platforms.

* A source tells The Telegraph that MySpace could sell for $100 million or more by June 30. Current parties supposedly circling the social network-turned-entertainment hub include an investor group led by Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick and Criterion Capital Partners.

* An enjoyably snarky chart to help photo lovers figure out which photo-sharing app to use. (Hint: It won’t be Color no matter how you slice it.) (TechCrunch)

* Cult of Mac’s Mike Elgan on why Apple should use its billions to crush (and own) Hollywood. (Cult of Mac)

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