Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR) has appointed Robert Dykes, formerly the financial chief at electronics manufacturer Flextronics Corp. (Nasdaq: FLEX), as its new CFO effective January 1 2005 (see Juniper Names New CFO).
He replaces Marcel Gani, who announced earlier this year that he would move into a new role (see Headcount: Fair Warning). Gani, who has been CFO since early 1997, will become Juniper's chief of staff, and will work closely with CEO Scott Kriens on "some of the internal and external tasks involving overall strategy and direction," the company said in a prepared statement.
Juniper's share price dropped 69 cents, more than 2 percent, to $27.32 on the news.
But analysts at Lehman Brothers believe Dykes is well suited for the role. They note he managed Flextronics' growth from a business generating annual revenues of $500 million to one generating $14 billion a year in sales.
In addition, Dykes was CFO at security vendor Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC) before he joined Flextronics.
"In addition to experience scaling a company to become a multi billion dollar vendor, we believe Dykes' experience as a CFO of a security player may be viewed as positive by investors given Juniper's expansion into security with Netscreen," stated Lehman's Tim Luke in a research note issued Tuesday (see Juniper Buys NetScreen).
Luke added: "Dykes has a strong reputation in the industry and we view his appointment to CFO at Juniper as constructive as Juniper looks to expand into more enterprise and security markets."
Dykes takes the hot seat with Juniper in relatively good financial health. The company has posted solid quarterly numbers in 2004 and is experiencing growth in its traditional routing business (see Juniper Q3 Tops Estimates, Juniper Trumps Cisco's China Deal, and Juniper Claims Top Spot in Asia).
And despite yesterday's fall, the vendor's share price, which values Juniper at $14.7 billion, is currently trading near the top end of its 12-month range (high $31.25, low $16.36).
That overall strength resulted in Juniper being shortlisted for the Leading Lights award for Best Investment Potential, Public Company (see LR Names Investment Finalists). And the vendor is up for a gong in another four categories -- Industry Statesman, Public Company; Best New Product, Public Company; Best Marketing, Public Company; and Best M&A Strategy, Public Company (see Leading Lights Awards Finalists).
The awards will be presented tonight (Wednesday) at an invitation-only gala dinner following Light Reading's Telecom Investment Conference at The Plaza Hotel in New York City.
Dykes is replaced at Flextronics by Thomas Smach, who has been promoted from his role as senior VP of finance.
â€” Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading