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Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Telecom

Light Reading

How long has it been since we've updated our list of the industry's Top Ten Movers and Shakers? Let's put it this way: the last time we fiddled with the list, George Bush was the president and the U.S. was at war with Iraq.

And, even more painfully, just six months ago we led you to believe that we were somewhat close to finishing the list, just lacking a few suggestions from our smarter-than-average readers (see Pick Your 'Movers & Shakers').

Boy, were we wrong.

So, while we roost here with egg on our faces – and why not? It's good for the complexion – we present our newest, most updatedest list for your edification.

But first, a note of explanation:

This Top Ten Movers and Shakers list follows a familiar format at first, but then it gets kinda weird (well, okay, weirder). .

Our new list still has pictures and descriptions of each Mover and/or Shaker. We want you to know them. We want you to walk up to them at tradeshows and pat them on the back with one hand, while thrusting your resumé into their gut with the other, all the while droning on about how they're just the kind of person you've always "envisioned" yourself "working with."

Unlike our past Top Ten lists (see The Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Optical Networking ), however, our "Has Been Bin" has been upgraded with a special new feature: Really Horrible Haiku™. We've decided that in the post-bubble environment, just about every former Mover and Shaker needs to be moved into the "Has Been Bin," so it's time to find a more elegant manner of trashing them.

What about those who came close to making the list? We chose not to recognize them this time around. And it really would have been a stretch to include them. Need an example? Well, okay, we'll share one nomination:

    I pick CEO Barry Nalls of Masergy Communications.

    While AT&T, Qwest, and everyone else tout IP/VPNs, Barry started a company 3 years ago that does MPLS. No one, and I mean no one, does Native IP with MPLS.

    Barry’s Chief Scientist heads up the MPLS Forum, Mr. Nalls has raised $100 million in a non-VC funding period, and Barry is at the forefront of truly revolutionizing the industry... If you rally take a look at the Website, there is no smoke and mirrors... I say, last year, Light Reading missed Barry. This year, it’ll be hard to ignore him.

Thanks so much. While we appreciate Mr. Nalls's accomplishments, his name poses a problem. Too many jokes. Fish in a barrel really. Also, we're familiar with Masergy and the wonderful things they do with Native IP with MPLS (and native martinis with olives) – but we couldn't find anybody to corrobate the idea that Nalls has truly revolutionized the industry (without smoke and mirrors).

Okay, enough mucking about. Peruse the following lists at your leisure, ponder our choices, and then use the message boards – or this handy email link: [email protected] – to let us know how wise or silly you think our choices are.

Thanks for your kind attention. Here's the list:

Table 1: Top Ten Movers and Shakers
Position Name
1 Hossein Eslambochi
2 Hong Lu
3 Ron Martin
4 Greg Mumford
5 Ed Kennedy
6 Bobby Johnson
7 Niklas Zennstrom
8 Bill Smith
9 Brian Protiva
10 Jim Dolce

Table 2: The Has-Been Bin
Position Name
1 Carl Russo
2 Pat Nettles
3 James Wei
4 Paul Ferri and Ed Anderson
5 David Huber
6 Kevin Kalkhoven
7 Milton Chang
8 Dan Smith
9 Wu-Fu Chen

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User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:13:33 PM
re: Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Telecom
Having first hand experience, I can confirm that Milton is more of an entrepreneur than a VC. Hence, the proper characterization made by whyiswhy. Milton works hard, earns his money the hard way, builds companies, does not like hype and for a guy that still has that much money is pretty fair in business dealings.
He should not be listed in the "has-been bin".
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:12:53 PM
re: Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Telecom
I will speak for myself but I am sure you will not find anyone to contradict what I am going to write here about Milton. He has amazed me time and time again that he can respond to voice mail or email from a worker bee such as myself. He has always, except for a few instances, responded within 24 hour time period and even then we are talking about a day or two despite what I know is a very busy schedule of his. I know this not to be just the case with me but I know others get the same response as well. He has always been helpful and insightful and he welcomes dialog that opens up new approaches that expand on his. He is about best practices and designs that can make a difference. I had the pleasure of working for New Focus before the bubble and well into the bubble and some. Let me say that everything that made New Focus a great place to work for in the early years was due to Milton and whom he chose to hire. I learned a lot from the people he chose to surround himself with and I am forever grateful for the vision that he instilled in me and all who cared to listen. In most cases where someone can take a negative jab at him, do not forget he is a business man as well. From what I have seen he runs a tight ship in regards to best business practices and therefore hard lessons will be learned by those whom expect the good guy Milton to not make hard line business decisions.

Anyway I will sign my name as I am proud to be able to associate my name with Milton and everyone else whom I had the pleasure to work with at New Focus in the early years.
Michael Bustamante
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:12:52 PM
re: Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Telecom
Did you guys all make money in Milton's company? I've had to deal with him and he's a pompous, arrogant guy who thinks he knows everything. He got lucky duirng the bubble, that's all.
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:12:51 PM
re: Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Telecom
I had the pleasure of working for New Focus before the bubble and well into the bubble and some

Your views are biased because you worked under him during the boom time. Who didnt have a favourable impression of their company leader when times were good?

The reality of life is that one's true character tends to be exposed in times adversity.
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:12:49 PM
re: Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Telecom
Milton and luck:

If I were to guess, I would venture that Milton was busy growing Newport before you were born.

The bubble: It's true that some were lucky to be standing in the right place at the right time. Some timed their move to the right place. Neither of those classes of people earned it.

Milton built the places (plural) others were lucky enough to be standing in. He earned it.

Full disclosure: I never was employed by Milton, nor held any of his companies stock, but have known and done business with him since 1972.

User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:10:59 PM
re: Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Telecom
should move up the list now that he's apparently running the Red Sox too...
coco channel
coco channel,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:09:38 PM
re: Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Telecom
Don't forge about Charlie V. Accelerated Networks, Santero, Taqwoe..."Mr. Destructo" has left more ruins in his wake than Godzilla. Besides what company wouldn't want to have Chuckie's picture on every news release.
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