Atrica Tags Ragavan for CEO

Vivek Ragavan, the former CEO of Redback Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: RBAK), has joined Atrica Inc., a startup specializing in optical Ethernet products (see Ex-Redback Chief Joins Atrica).

photo of Vivek Ragavan Ragavan is replacing Atrica founder Avinoam Rubinstain, who will become chief technology officer and senior VP of product development and supply chain.

Rubinstain opted to look for someone to take his place last year, he says, when it became apparent that Atrica would need a leader located in the U.S. Rubinstain did not wish to leave his home in Israel.

For his part, Ragavan is ready for a change. No stranger to the broadband Internet market, Ragavan was heading up Siara Systems when Redback bought that company for $4 billion in 1999. He became Redback's second CEO in November 2000, when Dennis Barsema left to join another startup (see Redback's Barsema to Lead Startup).

In May of this year, Ragavan became the second CEO to leave Redback, after a tough few months in which Redback struggled to made inroads into the optical networking marketplace, only to see its share price plummet (see Redback's CEO Resigns). Ragavan and the board apparently both felt Redback's issues required new blood. (Redback's chairman, Pierre Lamond, is standing in as temporary CEO at present.)

And Ragavan seems to relish a technology challenge. With undergraduate and post-graduate degrees in engineering from Cornell University, he served as VP of engineering at Comsat and General Instrument, before becoming president of the Residential Broadband Group at ADC Telecommunications Inc. (Nasdaq: ADCT), a post he held for several years before leaving to help found Siara in May 1998.

Ragavan, who's been full-time at Atrica for just over a week, says he looks forward to building the company's sales organization and customer base. The firm announced its first products earlier this year (see Atrica Keeps It Simple and Atrica Tells a Tall 100-Gbit/s Tale) and has them in trials with several carriers, including Bezeq, Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), and France Telecom SA.

- Mary Jander, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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