& cplSiteName &

Kheradpir's Coriant Comeback

Ray Le Maistre
10/5/2015
100%
0%

What just happened at Coriant?

The optical transport vendor has named Shaygan Kheradpir as its new CEO. (See Coriant Appoints a New CEO.)

If that name sounds familiar, it's because Kheradpir made headline news in 2014 for his short and eventful tenure as CEO of Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR), where his ten months in the hotseat started with a public attack by activist investors, continued with a strategy review, job cuts and executive defections, and ended with his resignation in November last year following a "review by the board of directors of his leadership and his conduct in connection with a particular negotiation with a customer." (See Turmoil at Juniper as CEO Quits.)

That's not going to look great on a résumé, right?

Yet less than a year after his high-profile exit from Juniper, Kheradpir is now running Coriant , taking over from Pat DiPietro, who becomes vice chairman and returns to his role as operating partner at Marlin Equity Partners , the private equity company that built Coriant by stitching together the optical unit of Nokia, Tellabs and part of Sycamore Networks. (See Coriant 7100 Pico Targets Metro Edge, SoftBank Choose Coriant for Metro and Tellabs to Be Sold to Marlin for $891M.)

Kheradpir isn't walking into the Coriant role blind: According to the vendor, he has been working "closely with the senior management team since earlier this year in the role of Operating Executive to Marlin Equity Partners."

The vendor also says that Kheradpir is "a recognized business and technology leader with over 28 years of executive experience across the telecom, technology, and financial services industries."

DiPietro is quoted as saying: "We are honored to welcome Shaygan to Coriant and fortunate to have an executive of his caliber leading the company. His strategic insight and guidance on focused operational execution have been invaluable since we began working together earlier this year, and we are confident in his ability to drive Coriant to the next level of growth."

That's all very nice, but out in the tough, backstabbing world of business, you're only as good as your last job, right?

One Juniper employee, talking to Light Reading on background, noted that the difference at Juniper under the control of Kheradpir and his successor, Rami Rahim, is "like night and day," with the New IP vendor now seemingly much more settled and focused under Rahim. "It's incredible. I don't know what Coriant is thinking," added the Juniper staffer.


Want to know more about the optical networking sector? Check out our dedicated optical content channel here on Light Reading.


Kheradpir undoubtedly has plenty of industry experience, having spent time at GTE and Verizon Communications and spending time as the chief operations and technology officer at Barclays Bank. But how suited is he to running an optical systems vendor with about 500 customers and annual revenues of more than $1 billion (estimated) that is seeking to differentiate itself and grow in a highly competitive market where the competition comes from the likes of Alcatel-Lucent, Ciena, Cisco, Huawei, Infinera and many others?

It may be unfair, but perception counts for a great deal and you can be sure that Coriant's rivals will be making the most of his recent employment history. This looks like a risky appointment by Marlin Equity Partners -- for Coriant's and Kheradpir's sake, I hope I'm proved wrong.

— Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Curiousfellow
100%
0%
Curiousfellow,
User Rank: Lightning
12/23/2015 | 10:42:30 AM
How did we get here?
Thanks for asking the question.

Some questions are easy to ask, but hard if not impossible to get answered.

I think the larger question is: what is the basis for the selection of the existing management team, not just the new CEO.

Each of these companies, made a long string of decisions that led them to be the also-rans in the industry. One has to assume that the new owners believe they can bring some fresh management and efficiencies to the new combination to make things profitable. Later doing an IPO or liquidation to earn a return on investment.

Each of the companies in the new entity, for whatever the reasons are, failed to demonstrate viability as stand alone entities in their business sector, which begs the question.......what's different this time?

In the case of Tellabs, the company made a decision to narrow their product lines and business model from addressing the needs of a broad swath of Telecom and DataCom customers, (public, private and government), by offering hundreds of different products and competing in many product categories, and many channels of distribution to focusing exclusively on offering Synchronous Optical Network SONET products to the Bell Operating Companies (the big 5 or 6) and the long haul carriers who had already begun the move to DWDM. In pursuit of this goal, the management at all levels marched in lock step.

The consistent string of acquisitions succeeded mainly in vaporizing hundreds of millions of dollars of cash, the notable exception was a Finish Company; the author and manager of the acquisition was displaced by a new hire with zero product knowledge, after the deal was wildly successful. This was no blip.

Tellabs succeeded in their single minded goal of focusing on SONET, Cross Connects, and just Telcos leading to the crash and burn of the company. One has to wonder, how many of the managers are still manning the key decision making positions?

Reading the 1998 NYT article on the failed Ciena Merger, it may be interesting to do a retrospective article on where are they now. Ciena looks like they will finish 2015 at $2.5B in revenue with greatly expanded product lines from their 1998 business model.

 

Ray@LR
100%
0%
Ray@LR,
User Rank: Blogger
10/5/2015 | 10:50:32 AM
People, money and technology
There are three main things that influence what goes on in this industry -- people, money and technology -- and the people part of it is sometimes underplayed.



I'm not sure that Kheradpir had the optimum team supporting him during his time at Juniper and he did, in fairness, walk straight into an activist investor maelstrom. 

But... he now carries a reputation in the communications networking industry as the guy who crashed and burned at Juniper. Let's see if eh can tuirn that reputation around.
More Blogs from Shades of Ray
The social media giant's solar-powered Aquila drone, designed to provide Internet access to remote locations, has taken to the skies – but why?
European vendor's momentum continues into 2016 as it reports impressive sales growth, only some of which comes from its Overture acquisition, but its profitability isn't keeping up.
A fiber-to-the-home broadband trial in the city of York using CityFibre's network looks likely to lead to more competitive ultra-broadband services across the UK.
The notion of 5G most commonly conjures up a vision of incredibly high-speed wireless/mobile broadband connectivity, but right now it's fixed line broadband that is key to operators' 5G plans.
The UK's decision to quit the European Union has had global reverberations but it's hard to tell exactly how bad the aftershocks will be.
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
NEXT COURSE
Wednesday, September 14, 1:00PM EDT
What Is Agile?
Kent J. McDonald, Product Owner, Agile Alliance
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Friday, September 16, 1:00PM EDT
How to Implement Agile
Alan Bateman, Director, Agile Transformation
Wednesday, September 21, 1:00PM EDT
What Is DevOps?
Colin Kincaid, CTO, Service Provider, Cisco
Friday, September 23, 1:00PM EDT
How to Implement DevOps
,
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
F5 Virtual Network Function Integrations With Partner Orchestration Platform

8|24|16   |   6:38   |   (0) comments


F5's Kishore Patnam, product manager for F5's service provider solutions, discusses why service providers are moving towards virtualization and how his clients are utilizing F5's solutions.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat: Intel's Alexis Black Bjorlin

8|17|16   |   06:23   |   (0) comments


Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Accelerating Telecom Digital Transformation With Nominum DNS

8|1|16   |   12:04   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's Steve Saunders gets an update from Nominum CEO Gary Messiana on how his company is helping carriers on the digital transformation journey.
LRTV Custom TV
Reinventing Operations for a Virtual, Software-Defined World

7|28|16   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Jim Hodges speaks with Accenture's Larry Socher and Matt Anderson about what service providers must do to transform their business to get the benefits of SDN and NFV including: leveraging DevOps, introducing real-time OSS and implementing analytics.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Fujitsu Sales Leader Shares Lessons Learned

7|27|16   |   5:12   |   (1) comment


As Fujitsu's only female sales leader, Annie Bogue knows the importance of asking for what you want, being flexible (she's been relocated five times), keeping a meticulous calendar, 'leaning in,' working harder than everyone else around you, being aware and more.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
VeEX Test & Measurement Solutions

7|25|16   |   08:57   |   (0) comments


Cyrille Morelle, president and CEO of VeEX Inc., talks test and measurement with Light Reading's Steve Saunders at BCE 2016. This includes innovative products such as VeSion Cloud-Based platform for network monitoring; MTTplus Modular Test platform for Access, Business, Carrier Ethernet, Transport and Core services; and OPX-BOX+ for Fiber Optics.
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX: Live From BCE 2016

7|25|16   |   03:20   |   (0) comments


VeEX's Senior Director of Business Development, Perry Romano, explains how VeEX provides tools to help install, maintain, monitor and manage network infrastructure efficiently and effectively. The portfolio of products on display include the RXT-6000, MTTplus and TX300s.
LRTV Custom TV
Real-Time Telemetry & Analytics for Intelligent SDN Orchestration

7|25|16   |   03:09   |   (0) comments


Packet Design CEO Scott Sherwood discusses how real-time network telemetry and analytics are enabling a new breed of SDN orchestration applications.
From the Founder
The Russo Report: Driving Disruption

7|25|16   |   07:44   |   (2) comments


In the first episode of a four-part series, Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders and Calix President and CEO Carl Russo drive around town discussing the disruptive mega-changes in the communications industry and where hope lies for service providers to meet the escalating demands of the cloud.
LRTV Custom TV
NetScout: Maximizing Enterprise Cloud for Digital Transformation

7|20|16   |   04:53   |   (0) comments


Light Reading Editor Mitch Wagner talks to NetScout CMO Jim McNiel about maximizing the benefits of enterprise cloud and digital transformation while minimizing potential pitfalls with a proper monitoring and instrumentation strategy.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Ciena's VP Offers a Career Crash Course

7|20|16   |   4:14   |   (2) comments


How did Ciena's Vice President of Sales, Angela Finn, carve out her career path? Simple, she tells WiC. She stayed true to her company, customers and principles. She shares her advice for women on how to be authentic and credible, as well as for companies that want to make a real change to their culture and practices.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 2 – Climbing the Virtualization Maturity Curve

7|19|16   |   06:56   |   (0) comments


Many of the initial use case implementations are single-vendor and self-contained. The industry is still climbing the virtualization maturity curve, needing further clarity and stability in the NFV infrastructure (NFVi) and greater availability and choice of virtualized network functions (VNFs). Interoperability between NFVis and VNFs from different vendors ...
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Five of the Top 10 most targeted countries in Check Point Software Technologies' global Malware & Threat Index for Q1 2016 are in Africa.
Hot Topics
Cisco Developing 'Monica' Digital Assistant
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 8/22/2016
VoLTE Can Drive 4G Small Cells Adoption
Ravi Narayanan, Senior Analyst – Cloud & Next Generation Mobile Networks, Heavy Reading, 8/18/2016
Rocket Fiber Lights Up Detroit With Gigabit
Elizabeth Miller Coyne, Managing Editor, 8/22/2016
'Most Wanted' Kobi Comes Home
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 8/23/2016
Arista Banned From Importing Products – Cisco
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 8/23/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
There's no question that, come 2020, 5G technology will turn the world's conception of what mobile networking is on its head. Within the world of 5G development, Dr. ...
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Bridging the tech skills gap is a major challenge for service providers and suppliers alike today – and the challenge is two-fold when it comes to increasing the number of women in the comms space. Level 3 Communications has made it a priority to overcome both challenges by implementing several unique programs focused on building the right candidates from within – in addition to filling the funnel by supporting STEM and other education programs. During this radio show, you’ll learn about these programs from Mary Beth McGrath, SVP of Global Talent Management at Level 3, and the best ways to bridge your own skills gap so that you are motivated and equipped for change. Plus you’ll have the chance to ask Mary Beth your questions live on the air.