Tony Bates

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Tony Bates
Born Anthony J. Bates
(1967-04-29) 29 April 1967 (age 47)
Isleworth, West London, UK
Residence Los Altos, California, U.S.
Nationality British
Occupation President of GoPro Inc[1]
Former Executive Vice President for Business Development & Evangelism at Microsoft
Spouse(s) Cori Bates
Children Matthew, David, Joshua, Ethan

Anthony J. "Tony" Bates[2] (born 29 April 1967) is the former Executive Vice President of Microsoft responsible for Business Development, Strategy and Evangelism, having previously served as the president of the Skype Division at Microsoft. He is currently the President of GoPro.

A self-taught programmer, Bates has more than 20 years of leadership experience in the communications and Internet industries. An expert on Internet technologies, he has published 12 IETF RFCs in the areas of Internet Routing and Operations [3] and he has 10 patents in Layer 2 and Layer 3 innovations.[4]

Bates began his career in network operation and internet infrastructure, and he now focuses on integrating communications from “living room to the board room” at Skype.[5] Throughout his career, Bates has served on the boards of many technology companies, including YouTube, the video-sharing website; TokBox, a PaaS provider of video conference API's; BubbleMotion, a voice-based messaging and blogging service; and LoveFilm, an online video streaming and rental service.[6]

According to reports, he is rumoured to have left Microsoft following the decision by the company's Board to appoint Satya Nadella as successor to Steve Ballmer.[7]

Early Life and Career[edit]

Bates was born April 29, 1967, in Isleworth, West London. He came from humble beginnings, raised in Teddington by his hairdresser mother and stepfather who worked as a builder. Like many Silicon Valley CEOs before him, he never finished university. At 19, he dropped out of his mechanical engineering program at South Bank Polytechnic.[8]

Bates’ first job was at the University of London as a network operator in the computer center where he worked from 1986 to 1992.[9] During his time at the university, his commute was one hour by train each way. He capitalized on this commute time by teaching himself the C programming language and by learning UNIX through DEC manuals.[10] Bates was fortunate to be involved in the early days of the Internet running the Arpanet gateways between the U.S. and the U.K. Bates helped transition the U.K. academic network JANET from the academic Coloured Book protocols to TCP/IP, helping to create the JANET IP Service (JIPS).[11]

He left the University of London Computer Centre in 1992 to work in Amsterdam on a Réseaux Associés pour la Recherche Européenne (RARE)-funded project as part of the RIPE NCC, an organization responsible for establishing the Europe IP registry and a number of operational standards for European networking.[12] In 1994, he moved to Virginia, which at the time was considered the nexus of the Internet.[13] He worked on the strategy and operation for the Internet MCI IP backbone.

Cisco[edit]

Bates joined Cisco in 1996. He was employed at Cisco for more than 14 years and rose to senior vice president and general manager, heading up the enterprise, commercial and small business divisions.[14]

At Cisco, Bates was responsible for strategy and development, managing roughly 12,500 employees worldwide and over US$22 billion of annual revenue. Bates has said about his time at Cisco, “I didn't have a formal background in programming or hardware, yet I was charged to build the single largest router that has ever been built, even today, from scratch with a $500 million budget.” [15] Bates previously served as senior vice president and general manager of the service provider business, growing its annual revenue to more than US$10 billion. As the vice president and general manager of the high-end router business, he spearheaded Cisco’s flagship CRS-1 router, GSR and Multi-Service WAN MGX Product Lines.[16] Bates made many significant contributions to Cisco; in his last year at the company alone, he developed more than 400 projects to market.[17]

Although his primary function at Cisco remained dedicated to infrastructure, other opportunities arose that sparked his interest. Projects such as Cisco’s integration with Scientific Atlanta gave him a glimpse of the user side of the Internet.[18] Bates has said his interests changed at this time. His work shifted from the behind-the-scenes “plumbing” of the Internet and into the homes of consumers.[19] These new projects combined with sitting on the board for YouTube, gave him a taste of “consumerland” that led him to Skype.

Skype[edit]

In a 2011 interview with Voice on the Web, Bates admitted that one of his personal goals was to become the CEO of a company before age 45. According to the story, he wrote three names on a piece of paper and Skype was one of them. Bates said that once he joined as CEO, a key engineer in Estonia asked him how long he had been using Skype. He said in 2004, and when they ran the details of his Skype ID to verify the engineer, surprised, admitted that Bates started using Skype before he had.[20]

Bates was hired as CEO of Skype in October 2010. When Bates joined Skype, only 6.5 percent of its users paid to make calls from their computers to landline or mobile devices. He was looking for ways to monetize Skype and envisioned extending Skype beyond recreational and video calling. “The world previously looked very much like there was a business world and a consumer world,” Bates said in 2010. “They’re blurring very quickly.” [21]

In 2010, Bates made plans to offer paid premium phone and video services such as group videoconferencing, call waiting and answering services.

Microsoft[edit]

By the time Microsoft bought Skype, Bates had grown the monthly Skype user base to 170 million connected users per month. When Skype was officially acquired by Microsoft for $8.5 billion in May 2011, Bates announced that he wanted to eventually reach 1 billion connected users on Skype.[22]

As the president of the Skype Division, Bates focussed on extending Skype reach across key Microsoft products like Internet Explorer (August 2011) [23] Bing(Skype Bing Reward and Bing Bar in February 2012) [24] Windows 8 (October 2012),[25] Windows Phone (November 2012),[26] Outlook (January 2013),[27] and most recently upgrading Windows Live Messenger with Skype.[28] Continuing Bates’ mission to blur the lines between consumer and business communication which he branded “B2X” at the Lync 2013 Conference, he announced that Lync, Microsoft’s business communication solution, would be connected to Skype, and announced that Skype/Lync connectivity was expected by the end of June 2013.[29] Microsoft also announced plans for video calling in Outlook.com and announced a preview version in April 2013.[30] Another anticipated Skype/Microsoft collaboration is with Xbox, which Bates called a “gateway into the living room” in an interview with USA Today in 2012.[31] Skype currently reports 300 million connected users.[32]

In September 2011, Bates announced an initiative called, Skype in the Classroom, with the goal of connecting 1 million teachers.[33] In fall 2012, Skype in the Workspace,[34] an offshoot of Skype’s small business and Skype for business initiative, launched with slightly less fanfare but still reflects Bates’ goals to expand Skype beyond just a consumer product.

Rumors circulated that Bates was in the running to be the next CEO at Microsoft when Steve Ballmer announced his plans to the position in 2013. Bates was widely reported to be one of two internal candidates considered by the board for the role.[35][36] In 2012, tech reporter Kara Swisher asked Bates directly if he would be the next CEO of Microsoft. He dodged the question.[37] From July 2013 to March 2014, Bates was appointed EVP Business Development, Strategy and Evangelism, taking the only customer/partner and technology facing role which spans all of Microsoft's portfolio of products and businesses.

Philanthropy[edit]

Bates serves on the board on the Silicon Valley-based nonprofit Tipping Point Community. He and his wife are also on the board of trustees for the United States Olympic Committee.[38] He is also on the board of BigSwitch.[39]

Personal life[edit]

Bates is married with four children, and he enjoys skiing and tennis in his spare time[citation needed].

References and footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Beth Jinks and Dina Bass (4 Jun 2014). "GoPro Names Ex-Microsoft Executive Tony Bates as President". Bloomberg. Retrieved 4 Jun 2014. 
  2. ^ "Form 10-K: Microsoft Corporation". Securities and Exchange Commission. June 30, 2013. "Anthony J. Bates, 46 - Executive Vice President, Business Development and Evangelism" 
  3. ^ "Tony Bates Data". IETF. Retrieved 2013-04-06. 
  4. ^ "USPTO Patent Full-Text & Image Database Search Results". US Patent & Trademark Office. Retrieved 2013-04-06. 
  5. ^ "Future of Communications: Rehumanizing the Experience from the Living Room to the Boardroom". TechNet. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  6. ^ "Tony Bates= 2013-03-19". LinkedIn. 
  7. ^ http://www.neowin.net/news/microsoft-shakeup-tony-bates-and-tami-reller-to-leave-the-company
  8. ^ Garside, Juliette (2011-09-01). "Skype Boss found route to Silicn Valley on Piccadilly line". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-04-06. 
  9. ^ Garside, Juliette (2011-09-01). "Skype Boss found route to Silicn Valley on Piccadilly line". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-04-06. 
  10. ^ "Tony Bates interview: Geek cred, Cisco lessons, and Skype's core values". Voice on the web. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  11. ^ Reid "The Good Old Days Netwroking in UK Academia 25 years ago". Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  12. ^ Garside, Juliette (2011-09-01). "Skype Boss found route to Silicn Valley on Piccadilly line". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-04-06. 
  13. ^ "Tony Bates interview: Geek cred, Cisco lessons, and Skype's core values". Voice on the web. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  14. ^ Garside, Juliette (2011-09-01). "Skype Boss found route to Silicn Valley on Piccadilly line". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-04-06. 
  15. ^ Garside, Juliette (2011-09-01). "Skype Boss found route to Silicn Valley on Piccadilly line". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-04-06. 
  16. ^ "Tony Bates". CrunchBase. Retrieved 2013-03-24. 
  17. ^ "Tony Bates interview: Geek cred, Cisco lessons, and Skype's core values". Voice on the web. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  18. ^ "Tony Bates interview: Geek cred, Cisco lessons, and Skype's core values". Voice on the web. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  19. ^ "Tony Bates interview: Geek cred, Cisco lessons, and Skype's core values". Voice on the web. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  20. ^ "Tony Bates interview: Geek cred, Cisco lessons, and Skype's core values". Voice on the web. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  21. ^ Kopytoff, Verne G. (2010-12-20). "Skype Looks for a Spot in Offices and Cellphones". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  22. ^ "Skype's Tony Bates Says the Goal is to Get Billions of Active Users". All Things D. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  23. ^ "Skype Click to Call for Windows update". Skype. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  24. ^ "Skype 5.8 for Windows: Full HD video-calling, Facebook integration, Group Screen Sharing= 2013-03-25". Skype. 
  25. ^ "Welcome Skype for Windows 8: It's Fast, Easy and Beautiful". Skype. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  26. ^ "Skype for Windows Phone 8 – install the Preview today". Skype. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  27. ^ "Skype 6.1 for Windows Desktop with Outlook Integration". Skype. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  28. ^ "Skype and Messenger Coming Together: The Next Chapter". Skype. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  29. ^ "Future of Communications: Rehumanizing the Experience from the Living Room to the Boardroom". TechNet. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  30. ^ "Type Less. Talk More. Make Skype Calls Directly From Your Outlook.com Inbox". Skype. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  31. ^ "Skype is at home with Microsoft". USA Today. 2012-08-19. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  32. ^ "Microsoft Lync Conference Revisited". Telepresence Option. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  33. ^ "Skype CEO: Our Goal Is to Connect 1 Million Classrooms". Mashable. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  34. ^ "Getting started with Skype in the workspace". Skype. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  35. ^ "Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to retire in the next 12 months". Neowin. Retrieved 2013-08-26. 
  36. ^ "Microsoft's Next CEO: Who's on the Short List?". Redmond Magazine. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  37. ^ "Skype Boss Tony Bates: Is this Microsoft's next CEO". GeekWire. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  38. ^ "Tony Bates Joins Tipping Point Community Board of Directors". PR Newswire. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  39. ^ "Tony Bates". BigSwitch. Retrieved 2013-05-02.