Skype Option Fiasco: A Roundup

Read this and this and this on the Skype option fiasco, and then really engage in some serious loathing for private equity.


  1. Groupon and Zynga are both Silverlake companies.

    If they screw the employees – they'll castrate the investors!

    Better hold on to your wallets in looking to buying those puppies.

  2. People are claiming that the contract is unclear, but it very clearly states that the shares can be repurchased. Maybe I only got that because I studied finance. The entire contract says several times that you have no rights and no avenue of redress. Why would anyone sign that in the first place?

    • Killick says:

      I dunno, I didn't study finance and it seemed clear as a bell to me. I'm guessing the reason this is being tried in the court of public opinion is because the people who got "screwed" took it to lawyers who told them that they had exactly zero recourse, that the contract was straightforward, they didn't like that answer so…to the blogs!

      It's also hardly unheard of.

      There may or may not have been some dirty dealing here, but I don't think we have evidence of it in the documents posted so far.

  3. Folks, read the articles more closely. The "contract" that you're referring to is the letter that the employee who resigned got AFTER he resigned (and I would argue that even the wording in that letter is far from clear to anyone except a lawyer.) The Options Agreement only says that the options are subject to the terms of another contract, the Partnership Agreement. It's in the Partnership Agreement that it says that Skype has the right to repurchase the vested options at the price at which they were sold. That clause is buried in the contract, and the vast majority of employees wouldn't even expect to find such a clause in the Partnership Agreement. In my opinion, it certainly appears that Skype was attempting to hide the clause.

  4. Paul Malin says: