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Juniper Loses More Execs

Two more executives are quitting Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR): CFO Robert Dykes and Robert Sturgeon, head of Juniper's enterprise efforts.

Dykes will leave at the end of April and Sturgeon at the end of March, the company announced today in an Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing. Both men filed their resignations yesterday.

On a conference call with analysts today, CEO Scott Kriens said both resignations were "mutual decisions... not at all related to the financial model or the financial performance of the company." Dykes, in particular, is leaving to become CEO at a "small private company," Kriens said.

Along similar lines, the SEC filing states: "Neither resignation was the result of any disagreement with the Company on any matters relating to the Company's operations, policies or practices."

As executive vice president of the Service Layer Technology Group, Sturgeon, a former Lucent VP who joined Juniper in 2001, was in charge of the enterprise business Juniper got with the $4 billion acquisition of NetScreen Technologies. (See Juniper Buys NetScreen.)

Kriens was asked on the call whether Sturgeon's resignation implies anything about Juniper's enterprise business, but he replied that the company doesn't give out any mid-quarter financial guidance.

As for Dykes, he's credited with helping contract manufacturer Flex (Nasdaq: FLEX) during its growth phase. One of only three direct reports to Kriens, Dykes joined in late 2004, presumably to help Juniper with its own growth after acquiring NetScreen. (See Juniper Appoints New CFO.)

Kriens wouldn't comment on whether Juniper has any heirs apparent in-house but said internal candidates will be getting consideration as a matter of policy.

Juniper lost three executives about a year ago, including Jim Dolce, former CEO of acquired firm Unisphere Networks, and Carol Mills, who ran Juniper's router group. Today's changes come on the heels of Juniper re-creating the chief operating officer's position, filled by former Macromedia Inc. CEO Stephen Elop. (See Dolce & Others out at Juniper and Juniper Revives COO's Office.)

Juniper stock was down 24 cents (1.4%) at $17.50 in early after-hours trading today.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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Honestly 12/5/2012 | 3:12:37 PM
re: Juniper Loses More Execs Not to be confused with the classic Who album, Who's Next, Juniper's CEO has to go. Losing the enterprise exec is no big, and even though Dykes is not a rock star he is considered by the street as being a solid CFO. This signals something seriously wrong. This CFO was no part of this mess, Marcel G was the CFO in charge, If I am correct. Cannot make these guys fall guys as the snake stinks from the head
backstabber 12/5/2012 | 3:12:37 PM
re: Juniper Loses More Execs Dykes was not the CFO when the options backdating occurred, but he must have been deeply involved in the investigation and the findings.

Something must have spooked him enough to want out of Juniper since you can't just release the 10Q and then resign to be the CEO of another company. He must have been looking around while the final filings were still being prepared.

Add to that some coincidences in board director resignations, there is more connections to these dots than one might think.

Since this is Lighreading's board, I must add that the statements above are opinions of the poster and should not be taken as facts before further research from other sources.

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 3:12:36 PM
re: Juniper Loses More Execs Quick note -- we've added to the story a mention of Dykes' CEO job, which got left out of the original draft.

Maybe he just wanted to be a CEO and wasn't going to get the chance behind Kriens ... or maybe Backstabber is right, and Dykes didn't like what the options investigation found.

Either way, Juniper apparently needs to do something to better retain key execs. Analysts count six CxO/GM/VP types who left last year.
Stevery 12/5/2012 | 3:12:35 PM
re: Juniper Loses More Execs Either way, Juniper apparently needs to do something to better retain key execs.

Why? The fact that 6 execs left last year is a great indication of how expendable they are.

That's 6 hyper salaries that the shareholders are no longer paying and whose duties have been distributed.

laser_focus 12/5/2012 | 3:12:34 PM
re: Juniper Loses More Execs > That's 6 hyper salaries that the shareholders are no longer paying and whose duties have been distributed.

Er, except that shareholders don't pay salaries, and the executives' duties are not distributed beyond the short term, and new folks with big salaries and even bigger golden parachutes will be hired to fill these positions. So, except for that, you're right.
mm2550 12/5/2012 | 3:12:34 PM
re: Juniper Loses More Execs My I ask what is the connection that you are implying? I understand that this is only speculation, but I was just curious about what your meant by your post.

Thanks.
Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 3:12:34 PM
re: Juniper Loses More Execs Stevery -- LOL. Maybe what companies need is an executive non-retention program. ("De-tention"?)

In all seriousness, some folks say the turnover does matter. I'm hoping to include that argument in a follow-up story.
Stevery 12/5/2012 | 3:12:33 PM
re: Juniper Loses More Execs Look, we can easily generalize from the outsourcing of the past years.

The lesson there is that there is plenty of talent that is willing to work for less money than the current talent.

The companies that ditch the overpriced execs first are going to be the winners, just as those that ditched the overpriced worker bees were winners before. It frees up capital and boosts the stock price for acquisitions.

I'm looking at you CSCO.
Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 3:12:33 PM
re: Juniper Loses More Execs > Er, except that shareholders don't pay salaries, and the executives' duties are not distributed beyond the short term, and new folks with big salaries and even bigger golden parachutes will be hired to fill these positions. So, except for that, you're right.

Wouldn't it be great if companies were like baseball teams? You could unload high-priced execs and get cheaper rookie replacements who aren't eligible for arbitration or free agency.

Not that I ever spend any work time thinking about my Rotisserie baseball team.
startupharry 12/5/2012 | 3:12:33 PM
re: Juniper Loses More Execs my thoughts generically, with companies in general, who lose many employees and executives is that its typically not a very pleasant place to work. I'm not saying that is the case with Juniper as I'm certain its a fine place to work. I'm just saying, in general if you look at companies that have high turnover its typically because when people get up in the morning they dont want to go to work. Just an opinion in a country that still tolerates someone stating one, correct?
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