Cable Tech

Tellabs CTO Retires

Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB; Frankfurt: BTLA) chief technical officer J. Thomas Gruenwald ("Tom" to you and me) will be leaving the company at the end of this week, Light Reading has learned.

Gruenwald, 58, is retiring, a Tellabs spokeswoman says. Whether that's retirement in the same way Pete Townsend "retired" The Who more than 20 years ago is yet to be seen.

There won't be a replacement. Tellabs is "decentralizing the tech strategy," separating things along product and market lines, the spokeswoman says. That means there won't be one CTO; instead, each group will devise its own technology plans.

Gruenwald joined Tellabs in 1991, having previously worked at AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) -- the original one, that is -- and Bell Labs . He held several different titles during his stint, including executive VP of broadband networking products and VP of operations for Tellabs International.

In fact, Gruenwald's departure is one of relatively few from Tellabs that wasn't linked to a previous acquisition. Mitri Halabi, one of Vivace's founders, left in April, while Andrew Malis, Tellabs' director of packet architecture and another Vivace vet, jumped ship last month for Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ). (See Tellabs Snags Vivace for $135M, Vivace Founder Leaves Tellabs, and Tellabs' Absence of Malis .)

Tellabs hasn't had that sunny a year financially, but that could change quickly, as pointed out in our latest Top Ten list, which picks Tellabs as a stock to watch in 2007. (See Top Ten Telecom Stocks.) — Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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