I have said for a very long time that I don't like Skype, that I don't like the way Skype has been managed, and that I really don't like the way that Skype treats their customers with utter disrespect. Well, now the birds are coming home to roost, because now Skype is starting to treat its employees with the same kind of disrespect. Lots of gory details, examples and explanations on GigaOm, it makes for interesting (but disgusting) reading. On the Reuters Blogs, Felix Salmon calls Skype and their investors "Truly Evil". I agree with that evaluation whole-heartedly - but I have thought that, and been saying that, for a very long time.
Here's the capsule summary. Employees of startup companies in Silicon Valley generally take some portion of their salary in stock options - often a significant portion of it. When stock options are granted, after a certain amount of time they become "vested", which means that the employee can cash in on them, one way or another. Except, with Skype, it turns out that in the very fine print of the employment contract there is a very non-standard clause which is now being used to make those stock options worthless to employees who stayed long enough to have vested options, but have left before the deal with Microsoft closes.
Ah well. It couldn't happen to a more deserving company, or a more deserving bunch of employess.