Davidson and Hutchins scored a major payday back in May, when their Palo Alto-based private equity firm sold Skype to Microsoft for a cool $8.5 billion. Eighteen months earlier, Silver
Lake had led a group of investors that bought the troubled Internet telephony service from eBay. Davidson and other Silver Lake executives put $940 million of the firm's money into the
Skype deal, which was the biggest investment in Silver Lake's 12-year history. After overhauling Skype and closing the Microsoft deal, they walked away with $2.9 billion.