Colubris Gets New CEO

Wireless LAN equipment startup Colubris Networks Inc. has brought onboard a new CEO and other executives in a renewed bid to capture more business in the enterprise WiFi market.

The new hires are part of a fairly comprehensive changing of the guard at the Waltham, Mass.-based startup. As Unstrung reported earlier this week, the firm let go its long-time CEO, Barry Fougere, and around 10 percent of its workforce just before Christmas to cut operating costs. (See WLAN Startup Cuts Staff.)

Fougere’s replacement, Robert Eisenberg, says that the revamped Colubris is going to be “extremely aggressive” in pushing its enterprise business and will be looking at new partnerships and other ways to get ahead.

“We continue to deliver lots of new enterprise features in our products,” says Eisenberg, who adds that the firm will add “mobility code” for its multiservice controllers next month that will allow seamless roaming over networks for applications like WiFi voice services.

Eisenberg was formerly CEO of Web hosting firm NaviSite (Nasdaq: NAVI), which went public during his four years at the firm. Eisenberg has also worked at a VC firm and held retail, manufacturing, and high-tech jobs during 25 years in the business.

He downplays some analysts’ suggestions that the enterprise market is getting too commoditized and dominated by major players to allow a startup to compete effectively.

“It may be hard to compete… but the beauty of it is that there’s going to be 88 percent growth in this market over the next three years and there really aren’t that many competitors -- there’s Cisco and a handful of others. It’s still open season.”

The firm also continues to invest in its public access wireless LAN business but plans to focus on growth areas like Europe, Asia, and Canada. The firm hasn’t seen so much success in the U.S. hotspot market, so it's cut staff working in that area.

Eisenberg says that the staff cuts have brought the firm’s burn rate in line with its revenue stream and that Colubris continues to have “strong backing” from its core group of investors.

The startup has so far scored around $36 million in venture funding from firms such as DCM - Doll Capital Management and Prism Venture Partners .

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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