Light Reading

Source: Eslambolchi Out at 'New' AT&T

Craig Matsumoto
News Analysis
Craig Matsumoto
11/21/2005
50%
50%

Chief technology officer Hossein Eslambolchi, who championed 's (NYSE: T) convergence strategy, will be departing as (NYSE: SBC) takes over.

A well-placed source tells Light Reading that Eslambolchi and five other executives will be following in the footsteps of former AT&T CEO David Dorman, who will leave after a brief transition period. But the source notes some old AT&T blood will remain in key technical roles. (See SBC Brass Dominates the New AT&T .)

The information is partially corroborated by a weekend report at news site NorthJersey.com, which cites an AT&T internal memo. AT&T officials could not be reached immediately for comment.

News of Eslambolchi's departure follows the announcement that SBC closed its acquisition of AT&T on Friday, putting the combined entity under the old AT&T name. (See New AT&T Launches.)

Most of the SBC-slanted executive roster was announced earlier, with SBC CEO Ed Whitaker taking the helm at the new AT&T. But the new company's CTO had not yet been determined, and Eslambolchi's name was conspicuously absent from the announcement. (See SBC Names AT&T Top Team.)

Two others notably omitted -- the former AT&T's president Bill Hannigan and chief financial officer Thomas Horton -- also plan to leave the company, the source said. Both men and Eslambolchi are eligible for severance packages of between $4 million to $6.5 million, according to an SEC filing made by SBC.

Other AT&T execs departing include: Kathleen Flaherty, AT&T's former chief marketing officer; John McCanuel, vice president of the old AT&T's OSS engineering; and John Polumbo, CEO of AT&T Classic Services. All are expected to stay at AT&T for a transition period.

Eslambolchi was in charge of AT&T's convergence program, pitched under the "Concept of One" tagline. The goal was to merge AT&T's disparate networks, funneling all traffic onto a single network core built on Internet Protocol (IP) and Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) -- an architecture most large carriers have embraced for their next-generation networks. (See AT&T Closer to 'One' With Itself.)

Eslambolchi's leadership role in network convergence earned him the top spot in Light Reading's Movers & Shakers list late in 2003, as well as a finalist nod as Industry Statesman, Public Company, in last year's Leading Lights awards. (See Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Telecom and Leading Lights Awards Finalists.) But rather than Eslambolchi, it's going to be John Stankey, CTO of SBC, who will retain that title under the new leadership, according to our source.

Chris Rice, another SBC alum, retains his title as executive vice president of network planning and engineering, says the source. Under his domain falls the task of merging the SBC and AT&T networks, which have used different sets of equipment. For example, AT&T built its new IP infrastructure on Avici Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: AVCI; Frankfurt: BVC7) core routers, while SBC went with (Nasdaq: CSCO). (See SBC/AT&T: Possible Winners & Losers and SBC/AT&T: How Painful for Vendors?)

The network integration will be led by Kaveh Hushyar, vice president of network engineering, who will report to Rice, the source says. Hushyar held the same title at the old AT&T.

Who else is sticking around? The source says Behzad Nadji, formerly AT&T's chief architect, will be senior vice president in charge of technology research, essentially keeping his old job and adding SBC Labs to his purview. (See AT&T Goes Beyond Convergence.)

Moreover, the source says Forrest E. Miller, recently named group president of the new AT&T Corp., has chosen his team from mostly AT&T heritage, including: Robin Bienfait, vice president of network operations; Clayton Lockhart, VP of global access management; Cathy Martine, senior VP of consumer products; Kathryn Morrissey, VP of global wholesale; Colleen Mullens, senior VP of customer service; and Chris Rooney (formerly president of AT&T sales), senior VP of business sales.

The lone SBC member reporting directly to Miller is Mark Keiffer, who replaces Flaherty as chief marketing officer. Keiffer, who helped lead the team that picked "AT&T" as the name for the merged carriers, was highly visible as head of SBC's business marketing, a trait not shared by all CMOs. (See Your CMO Is Who?)

Separately, USA Today reported Sunday night that Cingular Wireless LLC, the wireless operator owned by (NYSE: BLS) and the new AT&T, might switch to the "AT&T" brand name. Such a move could heighten talk of an eventual SBC/BellSouth pairing. (See Is an SBC/BellSouth Merger Next?)

— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(16)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
stephencooke
50%
50%
stephencooke,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 2:53:22 AM
re: Source: Eslambolchi Out at 'New' AT&T
Have there been any carrier execs that successfully make the transition to the other side of the table?

Steve.
sayward
50%
50%
sayward,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 2:53:21 AM
re: Source: Eslambolchi Out at 'New' AT&T
Bill Leighton was a former AT&T big wig who is now the CEO of AVCI. Former TLAB CEO Notebart was CEO of Ameritch and after TLAB, went back to his natives at Q.
euler
50%
50%
euler,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 2:53:21 AM
re: Source: Eslambolchi Out at 'New' AT&T
It wasn't so long ago (~3 years)when Eslambolchi resigned from AT&T to take a job @ CISCO. He quickly had a change of heart and rejoined AT&T.

Euler
Stbl
50%
50%
Stbl,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 2:53:20 AM
re: Source: Eslambolchi Out at 'New' AT&T

Materialgirl - it's called marketing and it is for the millions of people who will never know (or care to know) the details of who is running what. It is a smart move.

Besides, AT&T may have been a good org in some ways but they don't exactly have a state of the art infrastructure after years of underinvesting...
materialgirl
50%
50%
materialgirl,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 2:53:20 AM
re: Source: Eslambolchi Out at 'New' AT&T
Is it not ironic that SBC ditches most of the techies who built the ATT network, then change their name to ATT. Who are they trying to fool?
jsailor
50%
50%
jsailor,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 2:53:19 AM
re: Source: Eslambolchi Out at 'New' AT&T

"Is it not ironic that SBC ditches most of the techies who built the ATT network, then change their name to ATT. Who are they trying to fool?"

They're not fooling anyone. Eslmabolchi was not liked and certainly wasn't respected for any technical prowess. Shedding the expense and wasted cycles associated with satisfying his ego is the smartest thing SBC could do.
materialgirl
50%
50%
materialgirl,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 2:53:19 AM
re: Source: Eslambolchi Out at 'New' AT&T
It is marketing, but how comfortable would you be with a big network that no one on top has any experience running? These circuit switch guys buy a big converged MPLS network and fire the guys who ran it. Now they want to use it somehow in video transport. This spells the beginning of the end.
jmunn
50%
50%
jmunn,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 2:53:19 AM
re: Source: Eslambolchi Out at 'New' AT&T
It's very sad that they went from DEATHSTAR to child's rubber ball for the logo.
Stbl
50%
50%
Stbl,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 2:53:18 AM
re: Source: Eslambolchi Out at 'New' AT&T

It is anything but a converged IP/MPLS network - it is many disparate networks with a concept and some limited progress towards a converged network. You have bought a bit of the ATT marketing yourself...
desiEngineer
50%
50%
desiEngineer,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 2:53:16 AM
re: Source: Eslambolchi Out at 'New' AT&T
" It is anything but a converged IP/MPLS network - it is many disparate networks with a concept and some limited progress towards a converged network. You have bought a bit of the ATT marketing yourself..."

Eslambolchi just didn't have the fortitude to set the trend of the converged IP/MPLS network. That goes to BT's 21CN and a few other lower profile but more gutsy providers.

On the other hand, what has SBC gone and done? Project Lightspeed didn't need the distraction of migrating a dying FR/ATM/randomly constructed IP network with a backbone of AVICI, fer cryin' out loud!

-desi
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
From The Founder
Light Reading sits down at CES with the head of Cisco's service provider video business, Conrad Clemson, to discuss how NFV and cloud security relate to video, the challenge of managing 4K/8K traffic, the global expansion of Netflix and virtual reality.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Custom TV
Join Us at the Digital Operations Transformation Summit

2|4|16   |   03:52   |   (0) comments


The Digital Operations Transformation Summit on February 21, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Barcelona Fira Centre will bring together 50 senior executives to engage in a unique debate on the opportunities and challenges presented by the transformative evolving digital landscape. RSVP now at events@lightreading.com.
LRTV Custom TV
Making the Test: ADVA Ensemble Connector vs. Open vSwitch

2|4|16   |   01:28   |   (0) comments


Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, recently tested ADVA's Ensemble Connector, which replaces open vSwitch and offers carrier-grade capability and interoperability. The test results strengthen ADVA's credibility as a provider in the virtualization space.
LRTV Custom TV
Bridging the Gap Between PoCs & Deployment in NFV

2|4|16   |   31:50   |   (0) comments


Charlie Ashton of Wind River presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Dublin.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Mike Aquino

2|3|16   |   17:34   |   (0) comments


The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Shades of Ray
MWC: Buckle Up for 5G & the IIoT

2|2|16   |   02:28   |   (0) comments


This year's Mobile World Congress looks set to be a 5G land grab and a chance to get down and dirty with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) – but what will the 5G discussions actually be about?
LRTV Custom TV
Case Study: Building China's Next-Gen TV Networks

2|2|16   |   5:01   |   (0) comments


With over 2 billion viewers worldwide, Shenzhen Media Group is one of China's largest content producers. By partnering with Huawei and Sobey, SZMG was able to modernize media operations with the Converged News Center, a production studio that is a model for next-generation workflows.
LRTV Custom TV
Quad Channel Modulator Driver with 46 Gbaud Capability from MACOM

1|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


MACOM's MAOM-003427 is the industry's first surface-mount modulator driver with 46 Gbaud capability to support next generation 200G and 400G applications.
LRTV Custom TV
Video Infographic: Validating Cisco's NFV Infrastructure

1|26|16   |   02:24   |   (1) comment


We all know that the network of the future will be virtual, but when will virtual become a reality? This video infographic covers the four key areas in which Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, tested Cisco's NFV infrastructure: performance, reliability, multi-service capabilities and single pane of glass management.

For the full report, see

Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Phil McKinney, CableLabs

1|22|16   |   13:36   |   (1) comment


At CES in Las Vegas, we met with Phil McKinney, CEO of CableLabs. Phil provides an update on the rollout of DOCSIS 3.1, his views on the future of open source and how consumer interest in virtual reality could affect network traffic.
Between the CEOs
Ericsson CTO on the Changing Telecom Market

1|21|16   |   10:26   |   (0) comments


At CES 2015, CTO of Ericsson, Ulf Ewaldsson, sits down with CEO of Light Reading, Steve Saunders, to discuss the changing telecom market, the new partnership with Cisco and the future of the telecom industry.
LRTV Interviews
Ireland's Data Dream

1|21|16   |   14:31   |   (0) comments


Host In Ireland president Gary Connolly tells Light Reading's Steve Saunders about the role Ireland is playing in hosting data for the world's largest organizations.
LRTV Custom TV
Brocade Keynote: Transitioning to the New IP

1|20|16   |   27:23   |   (0) comments


At 2020 Vision in Dublin, Andrew Coward, VP of Service Provider Strategy at Brocade, presents the transition to the New IP.
Infographics
Cisco's latest VNI numbers suggest the world will be using 366.8 exabytes of data on smartphones and Internet of Things devices, up from 44.2 exabytes, in 2015.
Hot Topics
Alphabet Is Serious About Google Fiber
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 2/1/2016
Did Juniper Pay 'Peanuts' for BTI?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 2/2/2016
Google's 5G Radio Ambitions Are Expanding
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/5/2016
How Data Center Outsourcing Fuels AT&T NetBond Growth
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 2/3/2016
3.5GHz Startup Gets $22M for Small Cells
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/2/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
As anyone who knows me will tell you, I like to think I know a fair bit about this next-gen-comms malarkey, but there's nothing like an interview with one of the ...
Animals with Phones
Happy Groundhogs for Technology Day! Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and G.fast for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.