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Équipe Loses Engineering VP

The vice president of engineering at Équipe Communications Corp. gave notice this week, and he won't be replaced, the company says.

"I'm leaving to pursue an opportunity with an early-stage startup... with some old friends," Steven Noyes says. The company he's joining isn't in the same technology area as Équipe -- multiservice core networking -- but he's not saying any more about his new job, just yet.

Noyes was responsible for hardware and software product development at Équipe. He worked there for about three years. Prior to that, he was an engineer for video supplier Avid Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: AVID) and spent 14 years at Digital Equipment Corp.

Équipe isn't moving to replace Noyes. "Steve's accomplished his task here. He developed and built the product. His resignation won't have an impact on our ability to execute now," says VP of marketing Bob Sullebarger. Between founder/director of technology Chris Noel and founder/CEO Dennis Rainville, the job will get done, he says.

The move comes at an unfortunate time for Équipe. Though folk move on in any business, executive changes at high-profile startups are always greeted with questions by customers and investors -- particularly when the exec is a longstanding employee.

Équipe is also at a crucial juncture. New funding and a partnership arrangement with Ciena Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN) have trained industry eyes on the startup's progress (see Équipe Announces Third Round Funding, Partners with Ciena). What's more, last week's news that another Ciena partner, WaveSmith Networks Inc., has won a coveted contract raised the question, "When will Équipe get its big break?" (See Wavesmith: Giant Killer? and WaveSmith Wins at SBC.)

Though the two companies address different markets (WaveSmith's an edge play, while Équipe is a core switch), their ATM heritage and links to Ciena have -- fairly or unfairly -- encouraged speculation about which one may ultimately stand the test of time and possibly be bought by Ciena or another big player.

Sullebarger says things are looking good, but he can't comment specifically. There are two trials underway, and they're going well. "I wish I could tell you more, but I can't. We're continuing to make progress," he says.

— Mary Jander, Senior Editor, Light Reading

go_to_the_light 12/5/2012 | 12:18:04 AM
re: Équipe Loses Engineering VP Noyes was responsible for hardware and software product development at +ëquipe. He worked there for about three years. Prior to that, he was an engineer for video supplier Avid Technology Inc.
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