Calix Picking Public Beancounters

Calix Networks Inc. isn't yet a public company, but it's certainly acting like one that's preparing to be.

A recent Calix job advert for a "Governance & Reporting Lead" describes someone who can "assist the controller to prepare the company for Sarbanes/Oxley compliance" and "assist finance in preparing and implementing an external reporting capability similar to that of a public company."

The qualifications listed include a minimum of five years of accounting and financial reporting experience "with at least two years experience in Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reporting required."

Is Calix getting ready to file for an IPO? The buzz has it that the company's revenue run rate and growth have been impressive in the past 12 months, as independent carriers look for access gear that can offer as many advanced services as possible over their existing copper networks (see Calix Networks).

In June, the company revealed it had more than 120 customers, more than 2,500 Calix C7 systems deployed with more than 400,000 active ports in service (see Calix Ships 2,500 C7s).

Calix officials acknowledge that their business is catching on, but say this isn't necessarily proof that they'll be tapping the public markets anytime soon.

"Calix today sees advantages in being private and those advantages are principally competitive," says Kevin Walsh, the company's VP of marketing. Walsh says there would be advantages in hiring specialists to run the accounting like a public company, though. It makes it easier for a company to scale and to close its books quickly after a financial reporting period, he says.

Also, Walsh says that running a private company as though it were public "provides greater transparency for the owners, the shareholders." He admits some facets of that process are burdensome, but adds that if the company does go public at some point, "it makes the transition a much more straightforward process."


Though Calix is acting like a public company through its personnel moves, Walsh couldn't be convinced to comment on the company's revenue run-rate, profitability prospects, or management salaries. Nor would he volunteer a list of business risks facing Calix.

In fact, we didn't even get a safe harbor statement. Go figure.

— Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading

For the latest intelligence and analysis of next-generation telecom market opportunities, check out the coming Light Reading Live! event: Light Reading's Telecom Investment Conference, at the exclusive Plaza Hotel in New York City, on Wednesday, December 15, 2004.

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