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VoIP Systems

Genband Streamlines Exec Team

Four members of the Genband Inc. management team have stepped down, including the company's former COO and CTO.

Earlier this week, Genband announced management changes it said were "designed to strengthen the company's leadership team, drive global operational excellence, and position [it] for the future." (See Genband Changes Management.)

Genband's announcement included the promotion of six members of the management team to executive vice president positions. Included in that list were EVP and CFO Jan Gaulding; Keith Landau, EVP of research and development; Paul Gargiulo, EVP of operations; Jim Odom, EVP of information service and quality; Bethe Strickland, EVP of North American sales and marketing; and Ron Halpern, EVP of international sales.

In the company's press release, CEO Charles Vogt touted the "200 years of professional experience" his management team had to offer to customers and investors. What he didn't mention was the century of experience that has left company management over the past week.

Jay Whitehurst and John Boden, Genband's former COO and CTO, have stepped down, as well as SVP of sales Payam Sharifi and VP of channel sales Jack Sorci.

Genband VP of marketing Jody Bennett says the management changes came as a result of a streamlining process after the company's purchase of the Tekelec Switching Solutions Group in April. (See Genband in Switching Biz Talks With Tekelec, Genband Takes Tekelec Switch Biz, and Tekelec Closes Sale.)

"Ninety days later, we have our arms around what needed to be done," Bennett says of the personnel moves.

As part of that streamlining, Genband did away with the COO and CTO positions. Saying that former CTO Boden left the company to pursue another opportunity, Bennett explained that those duties will now fall under the responsibility of new R&D EVP Landau.

As for the departure of Whitehurst, Bennett says the company decided the position was no longer necessary. "COO is a luxury in most companies," he says.

The most significant executive paring occurred in the senior sales unit, which Sorci and Sharifi left. Sharifi returned to a position at Tekelec, Bennett says. And Sorci is leaving after completing a reseller agreement with Nortel Networks Ltd. announced yesterday. (See Nortel, Genband in VOIP Play and Nortel Resells Genband Gateways.)

According to Bennett, "Jack's mission was to bring in his expertise to solidify the Nortel deal." Now that the deal is finished, Bennett says Sorci has decided to retire and consult.

Heavy Reading analyst Joe McGarvey says the management moves shouldn't come as a huge surprise. "The switching division at Tekelec was not doing well," he says. "It just makes sense that Genband was going to make changes in the way that business was run."

— Ryan Lawler, Reporter, Light Reading

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