Procket Faces Tough CEO Search

Procket Networks Inc. may have a tough time filling its latest job opening (see Procket CEO Resigns). The list of qualified candidates is tight, and internal strife at the company may scare off outsiders.

Since Randall Kruep stepped down from his post at the company last week, Paul Matteucci, a partner with U.S. Venture Partners, has taken over as interim CEO (see Procket CEO Resigns). The company says it has already begun a search for a permanent replacement.

Frank Dzubeck, president of consulting firm Communications Network Architects, has a few ideas about who might be good for the job.

Top on his list is David House, the ex-Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT) president who took the helm at Allegro Networks, an edge routing startup (see Allegro Holds a House Party ). House has been, er... without title, since Allegro went out of business back in March (see Headcount: I'll Strike if You Fire Me!).

"It's a difficult economic environment for any startup," Dzubeck says. "Dave did a good job with Allegro. He really knows how to handle the technical people."

Dzubeck says Procket might also consider some big names at big companies, including Mike Quigley, president of Alcatel SA (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA) North America; Larry Lang, VP and general manager of Cisco Systems Inc.'s mobile wireless division; Richard Palmer, VP and general manager of Cisco's VPN and security services group; and Jayshree Ullal, senior VP of Cisco's optical networking group.

Dzubeck's favorite -- and probably the least likely candidate -- is Jim Dolce, who was CEO of Unisphere Networks and is now executive vice president of worldwide field operations at Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR) (see Redback's Barsema to Lead Startup).

“What Procket needs at this stage is someone who actually has taken a private company’s gear to market and has had general management responsibility,” says Andy Price, a partner with Schweichler Associates, the recruiting firm that placed John Morgridge and John Chambers at Cisco.

Price, a Procket investor who recruited the company's first outside executive, says Dennis Barsema, the former CEO of Redback Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: RBAK) is another good candidate (see The Face of the New Juniper). “They need someone who has actually ramped revenue and successfully led a company,” he says.

Procket is keeping quiet about the search and the list of potential candidates. “I can’t comment specifically,” says Ben Gibson, a spokesman for Procket. “But it will be a careful and thorough search.”

Identifying prospects is the easy part. Convincing someone to take the job of guiding the company and settling the internal rifts that led to Kruep's departure is quite another. During Kruep's final days at Procket, rumors zipped around the industry about the tensions between the company's engineers, Tony Li in particular, and its executive managers.

Adverse market conditions also might discourage a potential Procket CEO. The core router market is currently a two-horse race, and it doesn’t look as though that will change anytime soon. Other startups have tried to crack the core and have failed (see IronBridge Has Fallen Down and Pluris Shutdown Confirmed).

Even large companies like Alcatel are making slow progress (see Alcatel Bids for IP Core). Earlier this week, Juniper announced that it would be deploying its edge and core IP routing gear in the Telecom New Zealand Ltd. network (see Juniper Wins Telecom New Zealand). Alcatel, which has been chosen as the systems integrator for the network, did not win any business in this account for its IP core router, the 7770 OBX.

Alcatel’s struggles indicate that Procket will have a difficult time selling to major U.S. carriers without a partnership. Most recently, Procket was rumored to be cozying up to Nortel (see Will Nortel Pick Procket? ). But with the current management uncertainty, it’s likely that a potential deal could be delayed or called off.

— Marguerite Reardon, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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lurker 12/4/2012 | 11:48:27 PM
re: Procket Faces Tough CEO Search Does Frank Dzubeck have anything else to do but be quoted making ridiculously obvious statements?!

"Procket might consider Mike Quigley, president of Alcatel SA North America; Larry Lang, VP and general manager of Cisco Systems Inc.'s mobile wireless division; Richard Palmer, VP and general manager of Cisco's VPN and security services group; and Jayshree Ullal, senior VP of Cisco's optical networking group."

Well, who wouldn't? The real question is (and is explored later on the article) who out of the above candidates would actually WANT to go to Procket?
single mode figure 12/4/2012 | 11:48:27 PM
re: Procket Faces Tough CEO Search CEO's come and go but lousy startups thrive to the end. And it looks like the endgame has started for Mohammed Islam's startup....forced to vacation for awhile so they can get their last remaining funds to s t r e t c h....

Simmons is running for sheriff...a job he is amply qualified to run for after his caper with the wooley murder case...
jssreenath 12/4/2012 | 11:48:26 PM
re: Procket Faces Tough CEO Search Pay me alot to run a company into the ground? I can do that from here and I am still in Iraq. I can do nothing as well as any CEO that does nothing even though they show up every day. Maybe they can give me a Lucent type "screw the investor" package that says if they fire me, they have to give me a $ multi-million parting gift. Hell, if I get it while I am here, it will be Tax Free!
firstmile 12/4/2012 | 11:48:26 PM
re: Procket Faces Tough CEO Search Dave House might just be the match for Tony Li...
of course Procket might also be a casualty.
lurker 12/4/2012 | 11:48:25 PM
re: Procket Faces Tough CEO Search I doubt DH will take on another high profile start-up this soon.

What about Joe Kennedy.. he might be ready to work again!

arak 12/4/2012 | 11:48:24 PM
re: Procket Faces Tough CEO Search We the members of the Light Reading message board, hereby offcially nominate the former Iraqi information minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, as a candidate for the post of CEO of Procket Networks.



Atleast we would have some better entertainment for sure ;-)

drone387 12/4/2012 | 11:48:23 PM
re: Procket Faces Tough CEO Search Atul from Maple Optical is also sitting in the bullpen waiting for the phone to ring.
RouterOttawa 12/4/2012 | 11:48:21 PM
re: Procket Faces Tough CEO Search John Roth. He's got that IP thingie all figured out with all of those right angled turns, plus he's probably still well connected with the top brass at NT.
Second choice: Jim Fultz. He's got lots of experience with core router companies.

Do I get a finder's fee????
BobbyMax 12/4/2012 | 11:48:18 PM
re: Procket Faces Tough CEO Search Procket will not have tough time in recruiting a new CEO as there are a lot of qualified candidates based on California standards. Believe it or not, I have been told that the community colleges and on-line universities in the Bay area have produced more CEOs than Harvard, MIT, Yale, Princeton, Boston University, and Dartmouth put together. In fact, one on-line university in the silicon valley announces its claim to fame by producing hundred of CEOs who are working in the silicon valley companies.

Since the recruiting process in the US is ad hoc and arbitrary, anyone can be appointed to any position rThe famous dictum of having education, experience and exposure --- the three legs for successful functioning of a human being G is not respected by the United States.

The recruitment process in CA is the strangest in the world. In start-up companies almost all appointments are based on patronage. In fact, the patronage level traverses down to the lowest level. The ultimate effect of patronage is lower quality products and trampling on the rights of other people. In view of the excessive supply of CEOs, it should not be hard to find any company.

Mr. Randall Kreup was removed by the VCs for failing to penetrate into the RBOC market. It is not easy for start-ups to do business with the RBOCs. That is why it would work to the advantage of Procket if Nortel. can acquire it. But the price cannot be more than 1 1/2 to 2 -+ times the money invested by the VCs and other investors. Since no reliable sales data and market share information, it is the best that can be done.

I am unable to locate Communications Network Architects. I am surprised to learn that GǣDr.Gǥ Dzubeck has advocated the name of David House (formerly of Bay Networks). It should be noted that Nortel paid a lot of money for Bay Networks and in the process Nortel collapsed Alteon and a few other companies that Nortel acquired contributed to the collapse of Nortel. Newhouse partly caused the collapse of Allegro. There were some employees of Packet Design who had deceptively sold the company to Alcatel. So these guys were trying hard to replicate the deal that Packet Design had made with Alcatel. Allegro (located in California) started doing all kind of things (e.g. fake announcement of partnerships and contrived white papers that did not make any sense.

GǣDr.Gǥ Dzubeck suggested some other names from that will send shiver through our spinal card. What propaganda? It should be noted that appointments of high level (whatever this means) personnel is made on patronage basis regardless education, exposure and experience. Wherever the Cisco personnel went, they were failure. It is hard to quote a single success story. So the personnel from Cisco would not work well for Procket.

Not very companies from California are not potential IPO companies. A lot of companies in the Silicon Valley have lost their value or any other attraction. There is no chance they would be acquired because of the trickery and treachery. So the only option left is to close down. According to one published report the company insiders raked/stole close $40 Billion based on inside training. California has successfully imbibed the culture of third countries and in the process has become a third world country.
mu-law 12/4/2012 | 11:48:05 PM
re: Procket Faces Tough CEO Search For all those that haven't yet figured it out, BoobyMax == Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf, the former Iraqi Information Minister!!! Note the conspicuous absence of posts while Baghdad was under siege...

Although it would be an invaluable source of entertainment, I couldn't wish that on Tony, Dino, et al.
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