Getting out while the going's good? Infinera names a new CFO in the run up to an anticipated IPO filing after its former numbers man quit

June 30, 2006

2 Min Read
Infinera's CFO Quits

Up-and-coming optical vendor Infinera Corp. (Nasdaq: INFN) today announced it has a new CFO, Duston Williams. (See Infinera Names New CFO and Infinera Inc..)

What's strange about that, other than someone being called Duston? (A name so rare it wasn't ranked in the most recent U.S. census).

Well, Infinera is believed to be working towards an IPO, and quite a big one by all accounts. So any change in the top ranks, especially the CFO, is of particular interest. (See Infinera: $1B IPO Imminent?.)

Infinera spokesman Jeff Ferry didn't have a whole lot to say about what happened to the former CFO, Bill Zerella. "Um, um, um…" says Ferry. "He moved on."

Really? Did he quit or was he pushed?

"He left for another opportunity. He has another job to go to. It's a recent development," Ferry says. Where's he going then? That must be some job if he's passing up a potential IPO windfall.

"I don't know," says Ferry, "but he does have another job."

A financial analyst contacted by Light Reading believes Infinera is in a quiet period leading up to an IPO filing and is generating revenues well beyond the $100 million a year run rate suggested by the vendor earlier this year. But even he is perplexed by the move. (See Infinera Numerates Its Numbers.)

"In the run up to an IPO you'd expect some management changes, but to think that the CFO would leave for another job at this point doesn't seem consistent. You'd think he'd stick around for a hot IPO. If you leave a company, generally you leave your options behind," says the analyst, who requested anonymity.

So what about the new boy, Williams? Has he been brought in to help with Infinera's IPO process? "I can't comment on any forward-looking strategy. Duston is a first class CFO. He's here to help grow the company," adds Ferry during a later conversation, after having found that Williams was unavailable for press interviews today.

Ferry also declined to comment on industry speculation that Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) is one of a number of unannounced carrier customers for Infinera.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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