Skype exec flies the coop to join Urban Airship

Urban Airship has robbed Skype of some serious executive talent.

Christopher Dean, formerly Skype’s chief strategy officer and the company’s global business development head, will now be Urban Airship’s chief revenue officer.

At Portland-based Urban Airship, Dean will head up sales and business development efforts for the still-young startup. Dean will work out of the mobile services company’s San Francisco office.

“To be a truly great startup there has to be a combination of first-timers hell bent on changing the world, and been-there-done-that execs who know how to focus teams and leverage the best opportunities,” said Urban Airship CEO Scott Kveton in a statement.

“We get a little bit of both with Chris, and he will be a phenomenal addition to the leadership team.”

Dean began working at Skype in 2008. Prior to that, he help biz dev positions at tech companies such as FaceTime Communications (now Actiance, geospatial data company Analytical Surveys, tech investment firm Epoch Partners, and SmartAge, a dotcom consultancy that was acquired in or around 2000.

Late in 2011, Urban Airship acquired SimpleGeo, a San Francisco-based startup focusing on providing data to mobile developers. Since that’s very much Urban Airship’s home turf, the acquisition made a lot of sense.

“Urban Airship has the opportunity to take the leadership position in a new and important category of products critical to companies that are now interacting with customers on mobile devices,” said Dean in a statement.

“The team is a blend of the very best technical, marketing and creative talent I’ve seen in a long time, and I’m excited to be part of it.”

Urban Airship provides tools for mobile developers to make money and engage users will their apps. Clients include Warner Bros., Groupon, Yahoo any many others. The startup says it is responsible for more than 250 million app installs.

UA was founded in 2009 and has taken $21.6 million in funding to date, around $15 million of which came from last year’s round from Salesforce and Verizon. The company reported that it saw a 600 percent year-over-year revenue growth in October 2011.

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