His job will be filled by Dave Welch, who's also Infinera's chief strategy officer.
Why this matters
Perkins helped found Lightera, which became the center of the Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) empire, followed by OnFiber Communications, which was acquired by Qwest -- and Infinera. He's not the first of the Infinera old guard to leave the company -- former CEO Jagdeep Singh left about two years ago -- but for optical networking watchers, his surprise departure is worth noting.
Infinera remains in good technological hands. The company will still have access to Perkins, and Welch was co-CTO in the company's early days.
It's going to be interesting to find out Perkins's motivations for leaving, since Infinera gave the generic "other opportunities" reason. Maybe he's just retiring -- but (idle speculation alert) what if he's got an even more dramatic startup up his sleeve?
At least Perkins stuck around for the release of Infinera's 100Gbit/s product, the DTN-X:
- Infinera's 100G Goes Undersea
- Interoute Checks Out Infinera's DTN-X
- Infinera Unleashes Coherent 100G
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading