Ribbon Cuts Ties With Ray Dolan, Names New CEO

Ribbon, the newly named mash-up of Sonus and Genband, cuts ties with ex-Sonus boss Dolan and names Fritz Hobbs its new president and CEO.

Iain Morris, International Editor

December 14, 2017

3 Min Read
Ribbon Cuts Ties With Ray Dolan, Names New CEO

Ribbon, the company created last month from a merger between Sonus and Genband, has named Fritz Hobbs as its new president and CEO following the resignation of Ray Dolan from those roles. (See Sonus Cuts a New Shape as Ribbon Communications.)

Hobbs is currently chairman of financial services company Ally Financial but has also been a director at Ribbon since it came into existence, said the company in a statement.

It claimed the staff moves were not linked to financial performance for the current quarter or progress so far on merger activities.

The company's share price had dropped 5.76% on the Nasdaq at the time of publication, to $7.85, following today's announcement.

Dolan, who led Sonus Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: SONS) before its merger with Genband, said the time had come for new leadership at the business.

"Ribbon now has the talent, scale and global reach to continue leading the transition to the emerging cloud architecture," he said in a statement. "This is the right time for me to transition overall leadership of the company and I wish everyone at Ribbon continued success."

Sonus and Genband Inc. completed their merger in November and under the Ribbon brand offer a parcel of professional services and technology products, including VoLTE and unified communications platforms, signaling systems and session border controls. Telco customers include America Movil, AT&T, BT, Optus, Verizon and Vodafone.

Want to know more about cloud services? Check out our dedicated cloud services content channel here on Light Reading.

However, the combined company's financials for 2016 make for grim reading. Despite generating about $680 million in revenues, Ribbon suffered an operating loss of about $31 million, even though its gross margins were 56.2%.

One of Hobbs's main goals will be to cut operating costs by up to $50 million next year in line with previously announced targets.

"With Fritz leading the company forward as CEO, there is strong alignment with the board on the vision and path to capture value for all shareholders," said Richard Lynch, Ribbon's chairman, in the company's statement. "He brings strong CEO, board-level, operational, integration and change management expertise."

Despite the company insistence that Dolan is not leaving because of financial performance or merger progress, his departure comes as something of a surprise, especially so soon after the combined company was christened.

Dolan had been a longstanding CEO at Sonus and was named the boss of the combined company when the merger was first announced as recently as May. (See Sonus & Genband Finally Combine to Form $745M Company .)

David Walsh, the former chairman and CEO of Genband, took charge of the new-look entity's cloud communications-platform-as-a-service (CPaaS) activities following the tie-up.

On his LinkedIn page, he continues to identify himself as Genband's chairman and CEO, roles he had held since 2013.

— Iain Morris, News Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Iain Morris

International Editor, Light Reading

Iain Morris joined Light Reading as News Editor at the start of 2015 -- and we mean, right at the start. His friends and family were still singing Auld Lang Syne as Iain started sourcing New Year's Eve UK mobile network congestion statistics. Prior to boosting Light Reading's UK-based editorial team numbers (he is based in London, south of the river), Iain was a successful freelance writer and editor who had been covering the telecoms sector for the past 15 years. His work has appeared in publications including The Economist (classy!) and The Observer, besides a variety of trade and business journals. He was previously the lead telecoms analyst for the Economist Intelligence Unit, and before that worked as a features editor at Telecommunications magazine. Iain started out in telecoms as an editor at consulting and market-research company Analysys (now Analysys Mason).

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