Catena's Picking a New Top Dog
Machlin and the board of directors have set no final departure date for Machlin, according to Steve Bauer, Catena's VP of corporate communications. "Discussions are ongoing," Bauer says.
The CEO switch is likely part of a larger shift at the top levels of the board. The move comes just a couple of weeks after Joseph Costello was elected chairman of Catena's board (see Costello Chairs Catena). "The number one thing a board of directors does is decide whether a company has the right CEO and management team," Costello told Light Reading on April 2.
Catena is building a set of access products designed to make broadband deployments more economical for telecom carriers. In short, the company is building chips that would allow both POTS lines and DSL services to be condensed into one line card, allowing carriers to upgrade the DLC boxes and deploy DSL in one move.
The promise of such a product is considered a very hot opportunity in the VC community. Catena has raised $192 million to date, and it employs more than 300 people (see Ka-Ching for Catena Networks).
Catena's board most recently met on Wednesday. The board now consists of Catena chairman Joseph B. Costello, Catena founder Jim Hjartarson, Morgenthaler General Partner Gary Morgenthaler, and Menlo Ventures Managing Director John W. Jarve. Catena will likely make another board appointment in the next few days, a source close to the company says.
Though Catena's board hasn't named Machlin's permanent successor yet, Jim Hjartarson will assume the president and CEO roles for now. This change makes Hjartarson a veritable one-man management band, with the titles of president, CEO, director, executive VP of engineering, and chief technical officer.
The company had no comment on the rumor that Jim Hjartarson has five reserved spaces in the company parking lot, one for each title.
Location may have something to do with Catena's CEO change. On paper, Catena is based in Redwood Shores, Calif., but more than 90 percent of its workforce -- including Hjartarson -- are based in Kanata, Ontario, at the company's 63,000 square-foot research and development center.
Machlin, who works in Redwood Shores, has been with Catena since 1999; Catena was his first stint as CEO of a venture-backed company. Prior to Catena, Machlin was VP of marketing at Ascend Communications, which was acquired by Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU). From 1994 to 1997, he was VP of marketing at Cascade Communications.
One of Machlin's former Cascade coworkers, Catena VP of sales and business development Rick DeGabrielle, is based in Redwood Shores, as is Catena's CFO, Kenton Chow.
— Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading