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Optical/IP

The Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Optical Networking

Mr. Frosty

Carl Russo Heard Cisco’s new corporate anthem?

    We want Carl! He’s our man!
    If he can’t do it… we’re screwed…


Okay, so we made that up. But here are some other words that could have been written specifically for Carl Russo, Cisco’s optical Horatio:

    If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you…


Fact is, the last eight months have been a Kiplingesque study in character. While many at Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) have reacted to the Nasdaq’s 50 percent haircut by running around in a paranoid, skirt-flapping tizzy, Russo has changed not one jot – emerging as the Arthur Fonzerelli of the Cisco executive team.

Witness his handling of the Monterey closure, which represents the single smartest piece of marketing in the networking industry this year (see Cisco Kills Monterey Router). Instead of covering up the death of its core wavelength router, Russo turned it into a positive by taking the story public and positioning it as part of a strategic refocusing on the metro market. (Remember the metro market? It’s the one where the money is.)

It’s hard to overestimate the importance of Russo to Cisco at this low point in its history. Unlike the enterprise folk at Cisco, Russo understands optical technology and knows how to sell it to service providers. (Note to the rest of Cisco: Nobody appreciates being bitch-slapped by a router vendor telling them what to buy.)

He’s equally adept at handling Wall Street (his Lear jet speaks for itself), and the press (when in doubt, wave arms in air, quote Animal House, shout a lot).

But does he have enough sway to pull the company (and its stock price) back from the abyss? Not on his own. After all, Cisco faces some economy-size problems (see What Cisco Stepped In). The Monterey KIA aside, there’s the little matter of history’s largest inventory write-off (see Cisco's Q3: Ouch!). Plus, Cisco’s sinking stock price means it can’t buy its way into new markets like it used to.

Fortunately, for Cisco, Russo has a kindred spirit and potential in-house ally in Mark Cree, the recently appointed GM for Cisco’s storage networking line of business (for more on the striking similarities between Russo and Cree, see Close But No Cigar).

Overall, as Cisco’s woes have gotten worse, so Russo’s power within the company has increased [insert maniacal laugh]. For this reason, and the fact that the performance of most of the stock portfolios in the Western World will depend on his actions, we’ve bumped Russo up to the No. 1 position on our Movers and Shakers list – a jump of two places.

As the anonymous lisping poet hath it: Cometh the hour, cometh the man. And should Russo ever get bored and “goeth” Cisco will be in real trouble.

image of the Fonz
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MrLight 12/4/2012 | 9:33:42 PM
re: The Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Optical Networking Yes for startups, if they have the right product, at the right time and at the right price.

However, it looks like the "The Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Optical Networking" needs updating.

We should at least have someone from Cisco, Ciena, Juniper (well they will get more optical), Nortel/lucent (yoyr pick), JDSU, Bookham, Huawei, Tellabs/Fujitsu

also a VC name, a customer name (who is building an optical Ethernet network say), and finally someone in one of the new up and coming startups.

MrLight :-Q,wanting some light shed on the new movers and shakers
actual 12/4/2012 | 8:20:46 PM
re: The Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Optical Networking Absolutely amazing piece of garbage. Lightreading is becoming the National Enqirer of Optical Networking
NoObjectivity 12/4/2012 | 8:20:45 PM
re: The Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Optical Networking Crappy, desparate pseudo-humour on Russo and Lucent, nonsensical tech ranking...these guys are sinking.
fatchance 12/4/2012 | 8:20:43 PM
re: The Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Optical Networking This must be a slow news day, at least give us some real scandals or at least make up something outrageous that will get the message board burning. You can always print a retraction later.
noitall 12/4/2012 | 8:20:42 PM
re: The Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Optical Networking he's not only very smart, and very connected but he's a humble, decent guy who people can trust. worldview is the best vc firm you've never heard of, that's true, but it's for a good reason: they spend more time with their companies than promoting themselves.
noitall 12/4/2012 | 8:20:37 PM
re: The Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Optical Networking what has cisco done in optics???? the cerent box is the ONLY real success story they've ever had and now that product is under fire from multiple vendors, they have no products they've built that are really compelling under his leadership...and anyone who's serious about optics knows cisco's product line, across the board, sucks....pirelli? shut down. qeyton? shut down. they are nowhere in optics! is lr on the cisco payroll?
optical-tracker 12/4/2012 | 8:20:35 PM
re: The Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Optical Networking Keep looking for Joe Furgerson and let us know where he is. I have a marketing position he would be great for.
bear 12/4/2012 | 8:20:32 PM
re: The Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Optical Networking that's part of the fun in it...chill out and stay a while.
bear 12/4/2012 | 8:20:32 PM
re: The Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Optical Networking agreed
LightCycle 12/4/2012 | 8:20:31 PM
re: The Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Optical Networking Here's a little kicker on Huber.

Apparently in recent months hes been introducing himself to potential Carrier customers as "...I co-founded CIENA..."

Nice foot-in-the-door Huber!
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