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Cisco's Kennedy: Recruiter's Dream?

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
7/25/2001

Rumors abound that Kevin J. Kennedy, senior vice president of Cisco Systems Inc.'s (Nasdaq: CSCO) service provider line of business, is being seriously considered for the CEO post at Redback Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: RBAK) and for a top job at Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT).

As is always the case in this business, you can't believe everything you hear, but you can repeat it. In Redback's case, so many have repeated it that it helped Redback shares climb 0.40 (8%) to 5.39 in late afternoon trading.

The first published account of the rumor appears to be a July 20 posting on Briefing.com, which attributed the speculation to trading-floor rumors.

image In talks with several sources Wednesday, Light Reading has found no direct confirmation that Kennedy has been in talks at either Redback or Nortel.

"Why would he want the Redback job -- is he stupid?" asked one fund manager who had also heard, and been befuddled by, the rumor.

It's obvious that Kennedy would be a good catch for either Redback or Nortel. He's a telco equipment veteran who also happens to be the man in Cisco that service providers have on their speed-dial list.

One source at Cisco notes that Kennedy recently helped soothe SBC Communications Inc.'s (NYSE: SBC) concerns about Cisco's restructuring. In fact, he signed letters of reassurance to SBC that helped spell out specifics as to what Cisco's technology plans are. "They were concerned, and they only wanted to hear from Kevin Kennedy," says the source.

During its conference call on July 11, Redback Chairman Pierre Lamond said the company would be ready to make an announcement concerning its CEO post within two weeks.

A source close to Cisco notes that if Cisco were to announce something big, like an executive departure or an additional restructuring, it would likely happen sometime before August 7, when it has its fiscal year-end earnings conference call.

"We don't comment on rumors and speculation, and it's in our best interest not to get Mr. Kennedy on the phone for every rumor that comes up," said a Cisco spokesperson. "We have gotten some calls about the rumor."

- Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading
http://www.lightreading.com Movers and shakers from more than 100 companies – including Cisco – will be speaking at Opticon 2001, Light Reading’s annual conference, being held in San Jose, California, August 13-16. Check it out at Opticon2001.

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kcufde
kcufde
12/4/2012 | 8:02:43 PM
re: Cisco's Kennedy: Recruiter's Dream?
i don;t know why lightreading has to mention this, in IT , changing of jobs is common , right from a technician to CEO and VP, what is there if a person changes or chooses his career in some other company for his future growth,
i don't know why this has to made as a issue here, this is non-sense
opting job and career is individual choice , it is not light reading has to decide
whose
whose
12/4/2012 | 8:02:40 PM
re: Cisco's Kennedy: Recruiter's Dream?
Roth's replacement has already been decided. Hint, who did John replace as CEO, and who is he now mentoring?
smrs
smrs
12/4/2012 | 8:02:39 PM
re: Cisco's Kennedy: Recruiter's Dream?
Who did Roth replace? Jean Monty. Now mentoring? On what?

I'd be awfully surprised if Monty would want the job back - BCE seems to have enough operational issues to keep him interested, if only to prove any convergence theories he may have.

On the other hand, anyone notice that Krish Prabhu, Alcatel's COO, is stepping down? Decided, perhaps, that there are shorter commutes than to France?
Lopez
Lopez
12/4/2012 | 8:02:34 PM
re: Cisco's Kennedy: Recruiter's Dream?
Why would Kennedy want the top job at NT or RBAK when he is in line for CEO at CSCO? It would be a demotion.

HarveyMudd
HarveyMudd
12/4/2012 | 8:02:33 PM
re: Cisco's Kennedy: Recruiter's Dream?
Nortel requires a very mature executive with substantial experiece in technology, finance and management. No one associated with Cisco is qualified to be the CEO of Nortel
russ4br
russ4br
12/4/2012 | 8:02:33 PM
re: Cisco's Kennedy: Recruiter's Dream?
No one associated with Cisco is qualified to be the CEO of Nortel

Why? Cisco has been very succesful in its organizational model, with highly focused business units, which are accountable for product development, delivery and revenue. Also, Cisco has been very innovative with regard to partnerships (a.k.a. "Ecosystem") and several other initiatives.

A Cisco executive as CEO maybe a healthy vector of change for Nortel, helping refocus the company in these though times.


-- russ
robinet
robinet
12/4/2012 | 8:02:32 PM
re: Cisco's Kennedy: Recruiter's Dream?
Ludicrous.

Looking at the track record, no one associated with NORTEL is qualified to hold executive positions anywhere int he industry: "substantial experience in"
- technology: whre are high channel count optical systems or IP?
- finance: $19.4B is that enough an abyss?
- management: forgot the March mess with guidance?

Was probably not worth spending so many words.
Milano
Milano
12/4/2012 | 8:02:30 PM
re: Cisco's Kennedy: Recruiter's Dream?
Since BCE got rid of virtually as its ownership position in NT they have much less leverage to place their people at the helm there - in particular Jean Monty.

The jury is still out on his convergence strategy at Bell, he even hinted recently in an interview that Bell may walk away form it. The investors are starting to ask more questions. In any case, certainly not a good time to leave.

I feel Monty is somewhat overrated as CEO: remember Stentor, his fight against deregulation, now convergence? He's got his fair share of strategies turned wrong.

M.
mumbogumbo
mumbogumbo
12/4/2012 | 8:02:18 PM
re: Cisco's Kennedy: Recruiter's Dream?
>Nortel requires a very mature executive with substantial experiece in technology, finance and management. No one associated with Cisco is qualified to be the CEO of Nortel.


Yeah! and someone who know exactly how many zeros are in a $19.2B loss.
/mumbog.
Lancelot Lightwave
Lancelot Lightwave
12/4/2012 | 8:02:17 PM
re: Cisco's Kennedy: Recruiter's Dream?
Why indeed. What's Kennedy done as SP kingpin at Cisco? Lost 40% of the company's router marketshare to Juniper; failed to make any inroads into SP network with packet telephony; failed to make any incursions into the RBOCs aside from the SBC deal; basically just spun his wheels. This rumor is as ridiculous and as unbelievable as the one that had that fraud Don Listwin going to Nortel!
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