Dolce & Others out at Juniper

Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) lost a mighty big suit today as it announced that Jim Dolce, former Unisphere Networks CEO, has left the company as part of a "structured succession plan."

In a statement, Juniper says Dolce, who holds the title of executive VP, worldwide field operations, "is leaving the company to pursue personal interests outside of Juniper." (See Juniper Shuffles Management.)

The timing of Dolce's exit is interesting, given the scrutiny Juniper has come under lately for its business direction and marketing decisions. (See Juniper's Marketing Mystery, Juniper Sues LR Message Boarders, and Juniper's Secret.) One analyst yesterday wrote in a note to clients that, as carriers begin to focus more on the network's edge, "other competitors stand well-positioned to grow market share." (See Analyst: Juniper Faces Tougher Times.)

It's not as though Juniper is losing the edge market, but that battleground has become a focal point for the company's health and growth. "Juniper has about 50 percent market share in the B-RAS (broadband remote access server) edge router market – a roughly $650 million market growing solidly over 20 percent per year," writes Citigroup analyst Alex Henderson, in a note released today just minutes after Dolce's departure was announced.

"Their installed base in the edge is huge and they need to defend that first," says Rick Thompson, senior analyst at Heavy Reading. (See HR Sees B-RAS Role Expanding.) Thompson says that Juniper is leading the B-RAS pack at the moment, but as service providers come to the table with more video requirements for their edge networks, "the competition is getting harder for them."

Dolce's 2004 salary and bonuses totaled more than $560,000, making him the fourth highest paid executive at the company. He came to Juniper as part of the company's acquisition of Unisphere. He was CEO of Unisphere for two years and VP of that company's data products group for less than a year before that. (See Unisphere Appoints Jim Dolce as President and Juniper Nabs Unisphere for $740M.)

Eddie Minshull, head of Juniper's EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) operations will take over as executive VP of worldwide field operations. Jeff Lindholm, head of Juniper's worldwide sales organization for three and a half years, is taking the title of chief marketing officer, a role that's been vacant at Juniper for quite a while.

"Juniper has been slow to update its marketing strategy, and a revamped marketing effort could be a good catalyst for the stock," writes Morgan Keegan & Company Inc. analyst Simon Leopold, in a note this morning.

Interestingly, Dolce is only one of three executives leaving Juniper. The other two have barely any time served, and both have entrepreneurial backgrounds.

The company announced that Carol Mills, executive VP and general manager of the company's infrastructure products group was leaving "to increase her Board of Directors activity and pursue other outside interests." Mills just joined Juniper in 2004; she was working at a consulting firm at the time. (See Juniper Names Infrastructure GM.)

And Jef Graham, executive VP of Juniper's application products group, is leaving to become CEO of a private company. Graham, the former CEO of Peribit Networks, just got to Juniper when his company was acquired last year. (See Juniper Takes Two: Peribit & Redline.)

Is it any coincidence that three EVP-level folks are heading for the door at once? Juniper says yes, adding that the company was ready for the transition.

"The decisions for Jim, Carol, and Jef leaving the company are all based on specific individual decisions," writes Juniper spokeswoman Susan Ursch in an email response to Light Reading's phone calls. "These management changes are part of a planned and structured succession plan. The timing for the departures is a reflection of planning and forethought as we completed 2005 and embark on 2006."

— Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading

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desiEngineer 12/5/2012 | 4:09:49 AM
re: Dolce & Others out at Juniper Yakov ;-)

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 4:09:49 AM
re: Dolce & Others out at Juniper Who do you think will be next to leave Juniper as part of its structured succession plan?
netskeptic 12/5/2012 | 4:09:49 AM
re: Dolce & Others out at Juniper may be today it is a huge market indeed.
netskeptic 12/5/2012 | 4:09:49 AM
re: Dolce & Others out at Juniper Multiple companines are fighting for the huge market of ... $650 mln.
heritagejd 12/5/2012 | 4:09:48 AM
re: Dolce & Others out at Juniper By the way, I'll cover the short bet!!!!!!!
heritagejd 12/5/2012 | 4:09:48 AM
re: Dolce & Others out at Juniper Scott has others that don't have the vision to evaluate existing tech for end to end delivery of BANDWITH. Electrical annular conductor cable exists with embedded fiber, speeds scalable form 10mbs to 622mbs, not shared, simutaneous in BOTH! directions, guaranteed to each and every subsriber......was turned down. Most middle managers afraid to make a decision!!!!!
Honestly 12/5/2012 | 4:09:48 AM
re: Dolce & Others out at Juniper Phil, perhaps a better question is who will join them next. I think it is clear that they want to build the company. As for Dolce, he owned questionable decisions including marketing and enterprise strategy. Letting Chrisrtine Heckart leave was a horrible mistake as was his enterprise strategy. Many on Wall St feel Dolce is not a player in growing a company this size to the next level.

A bit of a meglamaniac, Dolce, whether it be Unisphere, or Juniper wanted too much and could not deliver in critical areas. He is best in start-up mode and talented, but not that talented.

Juniper needs to show real sequential enterprise growth by the June QTR.

Scott k is a winner, the shorts will get hammered betting against Juniper, wait and see.
alcaseltzer 12/5/2012 | 4:09:48 AM
re: Dolce & Others out at Juniper Would the succession strategy be anything like their M&A strategy?
DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 4:09:47 AM
re: Dolce & Others out at Juniper So Dolce sounds like more of a startup guy. Does anyone know if he's started a company of his own or if he's in the process of launching something?

jobseeker 12/5/2012 | 4:09:47 AM
re: Dolce & Others out at Juniper Do you think maybe headed to Cisco ?
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