Vivace Looking at NTT, New CEO

Vivace Networks looks as if it may indeed have a large carrier customer and, apparently, it may have a new interim CEO, Light Reading has learned.

Sources close to Vivace say that NTT Communications Corp. has been testing Vivace's switches for the past several months and has now starting buying its gear. As Light Reading reported on Tuesday, several observers were speculating that Vivace had finally won a big contract (see Vivace's Vying for Customers). Potential Vivace customers making the rumor mill to date have included WorldCom Inc. (OTC: WCOEQ) and BellSouth Corp. (NYSE: BLS).

Vivace is known to be in several carrier trials at the moment, and one industry analyst recently spotted a Vivace switch within Sprint Corp.'s (NYSE: FON) labs.

It's no wonder that executives from Vivace Networks didn't return press calls on Tuesday (or Wednesday, for that matter). Evidently a recent management shakeup left some folks clearing their desks.

According to two sources close to Vivace, the company's board of directors has pushed out founder and CEO Ken Koenig. A new CEO hasn't yet been named, but Dominic Orr, the former president and CEO of Alteon WebSystems, has taken the reins for the time being, the sources say.

Orr definitely has a role within Vivace, because he is listed with a phone number there on the switchboard. But he didn't return calls to his voice mail at Vivace on Wednesday morning.

This story will be updated pending word from Vivace's management or board members.

— Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading
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AutoDog 12/5/2012 | 12:42:26 AM
re: Vivace Looking at NTT, New CEO Did Vivace's VP of Marketing, Mike Kazban, avoid the axe?
reoptic 12/5/2012 | 12:42:23 AM
re: Vivace Looking at NTT, New CEO They must be doing great to be dumping the ceo and looking around for new leadership. Just because they are in some labs doesn't mean anything, come on now. These guys still have a lot to prove, need to raise money and need a CEO. Probably puts them #1 on the LR top 10 startup list.
vlui 12/5/2012 | 12:42:22 AM
re: Vivace Looking at NTT, New CEO was there a particular reason the founder was ousted?? or is this just part of the "typical" axing of founders?
SiVlyGuy 12/5/2012 | 12:42:19 AM
re: Vivace Looking at NTT, New CEO No doubt Ken's flashy attire had some influence on this decision.
BobbyMax 12/5/2012 | 12:42:16 AM
re: Vivace Looking at NTT, New CEO

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As is well known Alteon bankrupted Nortel. There was not much in Alteon, but they charged over $8 Billion. Nortel had to get rid of Alteon products.Anyone coming from Alteon would have a creditability problem. Unfortunately we are seeing the same people around over and over whose actions and conduct are not in line with our traditions.

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gea 12/5/2012 | 12:42:12 AM
re: Vivace Looking at NTT, New CEO Booby wrote...

"Unfortunately we are seeing the same people around over and over whose actions and conduct are not in line with our traditions."

Yes, earth traditions are not similar to Alien VCs traditions, which are flying saucer traditions. These same VCs fly from place to place and planet to planet robbing and looting each planet until it is dry.
Earth people should rise up to kill Alien VCs that would bankrupt earth economy. Only then will junky companys like Cisco stop making junky equipment used to fool all investors, engineers, and earth businessmen.
lightgo 12/5/2012 | 12:42:11 AM
re: Vivace Looking at NTT, New CEO This is probably one of the good things Vivace has done. Ken was essentially a chip guy, having come from Intel (he claims he had an active role in design of 486 chip). He had never had any systems engineering or networking knowledge or experience. He came from Intel, got his VP job at Onstream, passed his days around by joking and having good time with staff and management and general BS, and made friendship with Mitri Halabi. Mitri is the real founder, and Ken was a tag-along monkey on his back. Mitri is technically way too smart to waste his time on management roles so he made Ken the CEO. Since Ken was on his back from day one (never left Mitri for a second) he got the CEO title - not because he deserved it. Ken is a typical flashy guy, tryig to hide is utter ignorance through BS and good peer PR within his group (he doesn't have external PR because he doesn'tknow anyone in networking). I'm sure Vivace came this far DESPITE him, not BECAUSE of him. Good riddance.
rdvivacelr 12/5/2012 | 12:42:05 AM
re: Vivace Looking at NTT, New CEO Ken never should have been CEO. He never had any leadership capabilities. He is total ass. Having worked for him in the past I know that for a fact and a reason that I am not surprised to see Vivace go this way. Over half the board at Vivace is retired folks who could careless what happens at Vivace. Kathryn is semi-retired; Jim Mongello is retired and spends more time in Florida than in reality; Tench Coxe needs to take some ridlin. I hear that eventually the board came to it senses and decided to outs Ken only after co-founder and the brains behind the company, Mitri decided to quit the company as he was tired of Ken. It is also rumored that Mitri was planning on doing another startup with some ex-vivace employees and his brother Sam Halabi. Tench convinced Mitri to stay at Vivcace and then brought Dominic Orr into Vivace to be a consultant and now he is interim CEO. I also hear that there might be a total washout and so on and so forth (this part seem to be the story with half the companies in this valley). I think that Vivace has had multiple offers @$B to be acquired at different times of it existence and should have taken it. What a mess?

With regards to customers, they have made internal announcements of both NTT and Worldcom G㢠which I hear that one person brought in G㢠some guy Bill Frecket. The other place like Level3, Sprint and Bell South are due to the good work of a former employee and director of business development G㢠something Sirkay, who I have heard speak at a conference and have met at the IETF. I hear that they let go of all their ASIC engineers; that sales was trimmed; the marketing department is down to 1 person. I hear that Mike Kazban, VP of Marketing is being replaced with Bart G㢠one of DominicGăÍs cronies from Alteon.

The Vivace Saga Goes ON Gă¬Gă¬Gă¬Gă¬Gă¬Gă¬Gă¬Gă¬
bigbrother95 12/5/2012 | 12:42:01 AM
re: Vivace Looking at NTT, New CEO Ken never should have been CEO. He never had any leadership capabilities. He is total ass.

So do most of people who came from onstream to join vivace. All Engineering managers lack even basic management skills. These people could survive only because Ken was CEO.

valleyguy 12/5/2012 | 12:41:56 AM
re: Vivace Looking at NTT, New CEO You know what's funny? Some dumb ass recruiter or VC will try and put Ken into another company as CEO and explain away what are clearly basic management deficiencies.

Look around the Valley at the other startups. 90% of them are managed by idiots who can't manage their way out of a paper bag and no one's doing anything about it. It's pretty funny.
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