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Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Telecom

Light Reading
11/18/2003
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Is Ed Kennedy the next-generation savant at Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB; Frankfurt: BTLA)? Or did we just pick him because he laughs at our jokes?

It's probably a little bit of each.

The fact is, Kennedy has been on a rocket-ship ride since coming to Tellabs via the acquisition of Ocular Networks. It was as if he were a slick city boy who rode into a small town where rock music and dancing have been banned. But he didn't just accept things the way they were. Oh, no! He danced until his sinewy body glistened in the moonlit railyards!!

Ahem. Sorry.

Prior to Ocular, Kennedy held management jobs at Dynatech and Newbridge Networks Corp. (NYSE: NN; Toronto: NNC). Earlier in his career he worked as a design engineer and product manufacturer for Fujitsu Ltd. (KLS: FUJI.KL) and Harris Corp. (NYSE: HRS).

Kennedy's heritage as a startup guy is key, because Ocular started as the startup "killer" for the Tellabs 5500 platform. Now that Tellabs owns Ocular and its product has proven crucial to the portfolio, Kennedy's star has risen. He looks to be in line to succeed Michael Birck (see Tellabs CEO to Retire... Again).

By folding Ocular into its product line – and letting Kennedy run the whole thing – Tellabs has not only stopped an ageing product line from cracking apart, but it has spawned a series of interim steps between yesterday's all-electrical crossconnects and today's optical ones. Further, it has ensured that other Tellabs acquisitions, such as that of Vivace, will stand a chance to work out as smoothly (and profitably) for Tellabs (see Tellabs Unveils Vivace Sibling) in its all-important transition into multiservice switching.

And it's not as though Kennedy, despite his reputation as a successful startup leader, is new to any of the telecom battlefield. Prior to founding Ocular he was in charge of international marketing for Alcatel SA (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA).

And... Alcatel competes with Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT), which used "Come Together" as the theme song in its TV pitches.

And... "Come Together" was written by John Lennon, who was in "A Hard Day's Night" with Phil Collins, speaking of ageing product lines...

And... Phil Collins was the voice of Muk and Luk in the movie Balto, which starred...

KEVIN BACON!! WE DID IT!! WOO-HOO!!

Ahem. Sorry.

So why watch him now? Quite simply, Kennedy infuses Tellabs with a new startup 'tude and familiarity with next-generation, which the company sorely needs as the largest carriers are starting to make the big move to converged IP and MPLS networks (see Incumbents Converge on Convergence). With most of Tellabs' employees reporting to him already, Kennedy is guiding this transition, which makes him the likely leader in Tellabs' next chapter. Our bet is that it's "when," not "if."

 
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sir-wish-pro-wide-her
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sir-wish-pro-wide-her,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:14:43 PM
re: Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Telecom
1. You guys are seem a bit harsh on those that seem to have fallen from grace
2. Is there a typo in Really Horrible Haiku"? Is it supposed to be Hagger The Horrible?
3. I think you missed one more deserving entry in the "Has Been Bin". I would have included the lightreading staff member that had picked the previous top 10 movers and shakers :-)
btierney
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btierney,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:14:42 PM
re: Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Telecom
oops was refering to anderson and ferri
btierney
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btierney,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:14:42 PM
re: Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Telecom
and these guys really thought they could walk on water....
DCITDave
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DCITDave,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:14:41 PM
re: Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Telecom
You admit that Lucent isn't performing well and yet you suggest we put Pat on our list because she's a woman?

Or because Fortune called her a powerful woman?

That sounds like the wrong thing to do for all the wrong reasons.

ph

P.S. Fortune magazine called Enron "America's Most Innovative Company" for six consecutive years.
Tony Li
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Tony Li,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:14:41 PM
re: Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Telecom

Is it just me, or are all of the links pointing to their staging area?

Tony
Scott Raynovich
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Scott Raynovich,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/4/2012 | 11:14:41 PM
re: Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Telecom
no, it's not you... we screwed up.

we are fixing, but in the meantime the links on the left-hand side of the page in the black bar will get you where you need to go
indica1019
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indica1019,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:14:41 PM
re: Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Telecom
It's shameful that Lightreading contributes to the sexism in the telecom industry by not including a single woman on the Top Ten list.

While Fortune has put Pat Russo on it's 10 Most Powerful Women in Business again this year, she apparently doesn't make LR's cut. Lucent might not be at the top of it's game, but it's a hell of lot better off after Pat's tough decisions that none of her predecessors had the balls to make.

LR editors - when are you going to wake up from your cozy British boy's club and realize that the rest of the world has moved on? Get with it, mates.
dodo
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dodo,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:14:40 PM
re: Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Telecom
you may disagree but Pat's tough decisions were made(are being taken) to ensure that she together with her ilks can continue to fill their pockets whilst a lot of talent may be queuing in the food line once their severance and unemployment run out.

What innovative or groung-breaking decisions has she taken so far to sustain the business ?
Zilch !

Hence she has no place in the top ten JMHO
DCITDave
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DCITDave,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:14:39 PM
re: Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Telecom
re: "Hey Phil -- aren't you from Texas?"

Yep.

re: "What's this 'cozy Brit boys club' that indica's talking about?"

Dunno. Maybe someone's been reading Orwell's "Burmese Days" and they think I'm Ellis.
sevenbrooks
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sevenbrooks,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:14:39 PM
re: Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Telecom

I would have nominated Pat Russo for perhaps the worst CEO in telecom. She needs to cut horrible businesses and move along. Yet, she refuses to do so at the peril of Lucent. Its still a dog, its shrinking and no obvious path to growth.

Get rid of the dead wood.

Jim
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