Many consider Rosenberg to be one of the brightest minds in real time communications. After all, this is the man who fathered SIP (Secession Initiation Protocol)—and WebRTC to some degree. After launching a career with Cisco, Rosenberg left and entered into a professional relationship with Skype. In doing so, Rosenberg played an instrumental role in the company’s infrastructure. By asserting himself as a light for his peers to follow, Rosenberg proved effective on every level—business, engineering, and design and innovation. Now, however, after countless innovations and his role in Skype’s WebOS direction, Rosenberg has left the company and returned to Cisco.
While this departure is a big one, it’s only one of the many defections from Skype this year. Amongst these, many key members of the team—i.e. Doomsday scenario architect, John Fischl, renowned publicist, Brianna Reynaud, communications expert, Brian O’Shaughnessy, and many more—have opted for new plateaus. With that, Skype’s future seems relatively unknown. As Rosenberg and other key staff members have abandoned ship, can Skype remain innovative and relevant? Or, will it falter to alternative services?
Along with CEO Tony Bates, Microsoft’s Dr. Joseph Williams—architect behind Microsoft Lync and leader behind Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype—mourns the loss of Rosenberg. Williams worked closely with Rosenberg in bringing his products to market. Along with this, Williams has a deep understanding of his company’s infrastructure. That being said, it’s clear that Williams still has a lot to contribute. So, with Williams still in the equation, is it possible for Skype to fill Rosenberg’s shoes? While the task seems insurmountable, it may not be impossible; however, it’s likely this replacement will in fact be plural. Rosenberg operated on a number of different levels; therefore, to replace him, Skype and Microsoft have to dig deep to find the right talent. While it is most definitely daunting (this is the father of SIP we’re talking about), it’s not hard to imagine Skype continuing forward with a new direction.
Just as though Williams’ involvement can be a blessing, it could just as well be another obstacle. Williams’ continued involvement could be hindered by a lack of inter-workability. Williams worked collaboratively with Rosenberg; therefore, Rosenberg’s departure may have had a big impact on him personally. Subsequently, it may be hard to find talent that connects with Williams on the same level. Additionally, Williams, along with Rosenberg, was also ex-Cisco; therefore, the two may have shared many of the same opinions, outlooks, approaches, etc. This shared ground, along with inter-workability, can prove to be another obstacle in Williams’ effectiveness in working with new talent.
Though Skype’s loss of crucial personnel may seem crushing, the biggest blow lies with the loss of the Williams/Rosenberg dynamic. In working together, these two men were able to marry management, technology, and engineering to keep Skype on an upward trend. Now, though Skype is definitely reeling from their loss, there’s little evidence of impending doom. Sure, there’s a trace of it, but it’s far from certain. The company has more than enough resources at its disposal to push forward. For now, though, it’s just a matter of time.