Remember Hatfield? He was founder of Cerent Corp., the company Cisco acquired for nearly $7 billion in 1999. He was also founder of Calix Inc. (NYSE: CALX), easily one of the most successful broadband access startups in the past decade, and a favorite to go public or be acquired again and again.
Now Hatfield has founded a new telecom equipment company with Turin Networks Inc. founder Steve West, former Caymas Systems Inc. exec Eric Clelland, and Rick Johnston -- another member of the team that founded Calix. (See Was Cerent Worth It?.)
Johnston, Calix's VP of business development, hasn't even left the company yet, though Calix officials say he has given notice he's leaving. And Hatfield is still on the board there, Calix officials say, but he hasn't held a day-to-day management post in more than a year.
Hatfield, in fact, was CEO of Calix and Cerent in the early days of those companies, but handed the Calix reins over to Carl Russo to guide the company from the development stage into a period of speedy growth. (See Russo Returns.)
What's Hatfield's new deal? The company is called Cyan Optics and it’s a telecom equipment company, but that's about all that's known so far.
Cyan was incorporated on Nov. 14 and Hatfield filed for a trademark on Cyan and its shaded ovals logo a month later. He also is in the process of trademarking the term "BlueFlame." So maybe his forthcoming telecom gear will have both a cupholder and a propane grill attachment.
Hatfield isn't yet saying what his company is building. In an email response to Light Reading he wrote it would "be awhile before we've done something we would consider noteworthy."
The Cyan site couldn't be any more generic in its description of the company:
Ever increasing demand for high-bandwidth real-time services from consumers and business, places continuous pressure on public networks.
Communication Service Providers recognize that their networks need to change to meet their customers' expectations.
Cyan builds advanced technology systems to meet the expectations placed on these networks.
Carl Russo, Calix's president and CEO, isn't involved in Cyan Optics (that we can tell), but he also couldn't be reached for comment. We did confirm, though, that he's still working at Calix.
— Phil Harvey, Managing Editor, Light Reading