Ex-Moto CTO Tabbed to Run Sonus
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