Arris Taps New BigBand Leader

Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS) has closed its tender offer to buy BigBand Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: BBND) and has appointed an exec who is familiar with both companies to run the unit that will operate Arris's newly acquired product line of edge QAMs and digital video gear. (See Arris Closes BigBand Buy and Arris Snaps Up BigBand .)

Rajive Dhar, most recently BigBand's SVP of corporate development and strategic planning, is joining Arris as VP and GM of the BigBand product division, reporting to Bruce McClelland, president of Arris's Broadband Communications Group.

Dhar likely played a sizable role in the BigBand-Arris deal. He joined BigBand in late 2009 after serving as the SVP of M&A at Arris, where he helped the company land a handful of acquisitions, including C-COR Inc., EGT Inc. and Digeo Inc. (See BigBand Acquires Arris's M&A Guy .)

"We will integrate BigBand into Arris as another product division," Arris SVP of Marketing and Business Development Stan Brovant tells LR Cable. "We'll be using the Arris brand in conjunction with BigBand's product names, but at this point there is no plan to change BigBand product names materially."

Arris and BigBand have some product overlaps, particularly in the area of edge QAMs, but Arris has no current plan to discontinue any Arris or BigBand products as a result of the merger. The companies also have some similar roadmaps for products not yet in production (possibly around Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP) products), and there are "some plans to bring those plans into harmony," Brovant says. (See Arris/BigBand Could Resurrect Modular CCAP .)

Dhar's appointment is the only personnel announcement Arris has made so far related to the BigBand acquisition. Brovant declined to comment on a report by Globes of Israel that BigBand's founders -- President and CEO Amir Bassan-Eskenazi and former CTO Ran Oz -- aren't staying on. He also declined to say how many of BigBand's employees will remain at Arris. (See BigBand Founders Ousted? )

"We've got an orderly transition plan in place," Brovant says.

But there will be a headcount reduction. Arris believes it can cut US$7 million in quarterly opex savings at the BigBand unit by the third quarter of 2012 as it completes its integration of two publicly traded companies. In addition to some expected layoffs, Arris will also look to get rid of redundant functions and facilities, simplify its sales force and streamline some R&D programs.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 4:48:21 PM
re: Arris Taps New BigBand Leader

It's a matter of if, not when Bassan-Eskanazi will be leaving, as he's already indicated earlier that he wouldn't be staying with the company long-term. So his fate is all but sealed, and word was probably handed down soon before Globes learned that it would be the way of things once the deal got closed.  Meanwhile, the deal did get the blessing of BBND's board of directors and 92.5% of the outstanding shares in BBND were tendered  – point being that the snr management and shareholders appear to have gotten behind this all the way.  Still, some folks we talked to at the Cable-Tec Expo still wonder why Arris didn't wait for BBND to go bankrupt before pulling the trigger. That would've been a lot messier and a lot less certain for Arris. JB

AESerm 12/5/2012 | 4:48:17 PM
re: Arris Taps New BigBand Leader

Lawyers might have wanted to wait for a mess to clean up. You'd want to factor the cost of cleaning up (and uncertainty) vs. the discount of waiting. Meanwhie, should be interesting to discover what's next for Ran Oz, who resigned from the Board and as CTO back in March (but remained a strategic advisor). He's apparently "cooking up new start-ups at Oz labs..."

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