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VoIP Systems

Ex-Moto CTO Tabbed to Run Sonus

The shuffling of the Sonus Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: SONS) management team continues as chairman and CEO Hassan Ahmed will step aside to make way for Richard N. Nottenburg, former executive vice president and chief strategy and technology officer of Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT).

Nottenburg resigned from Motorola late last week, the latest in a flurry of departures from the struggling handset vendor. He'll assume the titles of president and CEO at Sonus in mid June while Ahmed will remain as chairman. (See Moto Exec Exits, More Moto Exec Shakeouts, Motorola Loses Ex-Handset Head, and Sonus Appoints CEO.)

Sonus has been having its own executive overhaul lately. Since January 2007, the company has changed its CTO, CFO, chief marketing officer, and sales VP. One analyst described it as part of Ahmed's move to "put more of his own imprint" onto the executive lineup. (See Sonus Has New CTO, Sonus Hires Gaynor, Sonus Realigns, and Sonus Sees Sales Shakeup.)

Ahmed doesn't characterize this latest move as bringing in someone better to run the company, but he acknowledges Nottenburg has experience working with big carriers. "As we've transitioned into the Tier 1 operators, putting a lot more horsepower on the team made a lot more sense to me," Ahmed says.

That's key for Sonus as it tries to wrap up more VOIP equipment deals with the likes of BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) and Colt Technology Services Group Ltd . (See Sonus Gets BT 21CN Win and Sonus Nears NGN Role at Colt.)

Ahmed also suggests to Light Reading that with the future of voice networks being a wireless story, it was a good time to bring in someone with experience on that end.

"He has a good understanding of where carrier networks are today and more importantly where they need to evolve to," Ahmed says.

With Nottenburg set to run the Sonus show, Ahmed says he will shift his focus to working with and expanding the customer base.

Not everything is rosy at Sonus. In the past 12 months, the company's stock has fallen 48 percent. It's true that tech stocks fell this year, but not that much. Competitor Acme Packet Inc. (Nasdaq: APKT), for instance, is down about 20 percent.

The stock had begun to recover before then, but the company issued disappointing guidance for 2008 back in February. (See Sonus Reports 4Q07.)

Recently, Sonus has acquired an OSS firm and made significant inroads with European carriers. (See Sonus Nears NGN Role at Colt and Sonus Buys OSS Firm.) And more acquisitions could be in the works.

"The next scalable real time service we'll need to deliver is video and that probably makes sense for us to focus on from an inorganic perspective," Ahmed says, adding that he's got no specific deals planned.

On a generally bad day for tech stocks, Sonus shares were down 16 cents (3.7%) at $4.20 in afternoon trading.

— Raymond McConville, Reporter, Light Reading

Stevery 12/5/2012 | 3:40:27 PM
re: Ex-Moto CTO Tabbed to Run Sonus So SONS chooses an exec from a company who doesn't hold a #1 position in any market in which they contend. Wow.

I think it's worse than that. He was chief strategist at Moto when they went from #1 handset to #xxx. And how many zillions did he burn at MLTC before that?

On the plus side, he got MLTC sold to VTSS for 1x revenue. Maybe that kind of outcome would be a good thing for SONS.

In any case, I would pay good money to hear the thinking behind the hire.
DPD 12/5/2012 | 3:40:27 PM
re: Ex-Moto CTO Tabbed to Run Sonus ... when we can make millions.

So SONS chooses an exec from a company who doesn't hold a #1 position in any market in which they contend. Wow.
DPD 12/5/2012 | 3:40:27 PM
re: Ex-Moto CTO Tabbed to Run Sonus On the plus side, he got MLTC sold to VTSS for 1x revenue. Maybe that kind of outcome would be a good thing for SONS.

I'll assume you're being sarcastic. Nuttin sexy about a 1x revenue buyout.
Stevery 12/5/2012 | 3:40:26 PM
re: Ex-Moto CTO Tabbed to Run Sonus I'll assume you're being sarcastic. Nuttin sexy about a 1x revenue buyout.

Actually no. I would have guessed that mltc would have sold for x/10, rather than 1x. But then, he led them there (to x/10) so you win the point.

and btw to LR: Your headline writer probably meant "tapped" not "tabbed", unless of course moto hit the tab-key in order to put space between him and moto.
Real Truth 12/5/2012 | 3:39:16 PM
re: Ex-Moto CTO Tabbed to Run Sonus Motorola is #1 in Set-Top Boxes ahead of Cisco.
Motorola is #1 in Public Safety Networks.
Motorola is #1 is Enterprise Mobility.

It has been a cellphone leader for year before Nokia emerged from making rubber boots.

It is also the company that invented the pager and the cellular phone. It still hold the record of the number one (RAZR) and Number 2 (Startec)selling cell-phone.

I can not comment on how Rich Nottenburg is as a CEO. But folks should give Motorola, an American Icon the respect it deserves.

Also, Rich N was never the CTO of Motorola.
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