Polaris Picks Panditi as CEO

Polaris Networks has hired telecom veteran Surya Panditi as its CEO, the company confirmed this afternoon. The equipment startup is preparing to announce the move next week.

Panditi joins Polaris from Convergent Networks Inc., where he served as president and CEO for about one year (see Panditi Goes Soft). Prior to Convergent, Panditi held various posts at Avici Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: AVCI; Frankfurt: BVC7), including serving as its president and CEO from June 1997 to mid 2001. He continues to serve as Avici's chairman (see Avici Shuffles Top Execs).

Prior to Avici, Panditi was VP and general manager of the LAN Infrastructure Business unit at U.S. Robotics Corp. His earlier management experience included positions at Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC), Ungermann-Bass, and Telco Systems.

Convergent Networks confirms that Panditi has left his post. Mike Dagenais, formerly Convergent's VP of engineering, has taken on the role of president and chief operating officer, Convergent says.

Polaris' first CEO, chairman and founder Ray Kao, remains the company's chief technology officer.

Panditi, who is traveling, was not immediately available for comment.

— Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading
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fiber_to_toilet 12/5/2012 | 12:54:30 AM
re: Polaris Picks Panditi as CEO Ray Kao is a much better visionary than Surya Panditi. Atleast Kao can make good products.What has Panditi got that Ray hasnt got?. No,dont even go there. "Avici" WAS NOT a success story. It is a just a struggling guppie fish barely breathing in a lake infested with Sharks. Yes, Surya made lots of money doing insider selling and he was not popular with employees as much as he claims to be.

Panditi cannot sell!!! .

Here is a trivia -What was the other business on Billerica Avenue which made more revenue than Avici ?

Hot Dog vendor in Demoulas Markets in Billerica
Lightmare 12/5/2012 | 12:54:28 AM
re: Polaris Picks Panditi as CEO Not so fast fiber toilet man, seeing that panditi has a propensity for hawking useless pieces of big iron I'm sure he'll fit right in with the Polaris junkies. I hear he's balmed just about everyone and everything for why he could not turn Convergent into something.
OptoScot 12/5/2012 | 12:54:27 AM
re: Polaris Picks Panditi as CEO Personally I believe hiring ex CEOs with all their baggage just isn't the way to go.. Regardless of what the VCs think it aint no guarantee of success... Look at Marconi... Mind you, I wouldn't hire anyone with an MBA either.. They spend to much time theorising and not enough doing !!
cyberpunk 12/5/2012 | 12:54:26 AM
re: Polaris Picks Panditi as CEO Ray Kao was a good implementation engineer in Stratacom, and he followed it up with a good "implementation" again in Transmedia, both of which got acquired by Cisco. But Ray Kao was most certainly NOT a visionary. He implemented
what "others" designed.

As for a company to be successful, it requires
good designers, good implementors and most important of all good "business plan" and "business decision-makers", of which Surya Panditi is one. Surya Panditi has the business
acumen to take Polaris to the next level above
which it is at present.

litefocus 12/5/2012 | 12:54:23 AM
re: Polaris Picks Panditi as CEO hello,
My friend!
Those GOOD Old Days Are Gone!!!!!!!
Now A CEO for a startup has to Very Knowledgable
about the Technology and Markets.....
Having a MBA from Yale/Harvard won't be Good at all, may be Good for a Successful Company not for
a startup which has yet to penetrate the Market!
Tell me folks how U guys think about the
Visionary Stuff...on what basis, Explain...
Sometimes based on Pesonal Contacts some VCs may
Insist on a new CEO having some personal agenda to benefit some people...
Now Let's see what happens, seems like CEOs are
changing Jobs like SW Developers just to survive,
but Nobody Asks them "Why Are U Looking for a New
Job!" whereas when I changed Jobs I have to prove
I did'nt goof....
Different Standards for Different Folks based on
your Karma (Luck) Not on your Abiltyn and eventually Always Blame it on the Poor/Supid Engineers who have sacrificed their families
for the company doing same thing over & over again as mandated by Brilliant management Team.
And we see now it' all changing....
Just Wait and Watch...how so called Visionary CEOs
ThouShaltNotJudge 12/5/2012 | 12:54:23 AM
re: Polaris Picks Panditi as CEO Who knows what color is the sky of the world that Polaris investors live in? If itGÇÖs blue like mine, then cobbling together some OTS chipsets and an outsourced Management solution can hardly be mistaken as GÇ£visionaryGÇ¥. This has all be said before, but Mr. KaoGÇÖs vision consists in the now pass+¬ charade of passing off a rapid prototype as a carrier-class telecom system.

Yet crazier things have happened; perhaps Mr. Panditi is privy to an imminent acquisition bid and has poised himself to cash-in on what remains the dregs of the startup windfall. Regardless, it seems curious that Polaris would suddenly invest in a high-profile CEO having miserly suffered so long with a lean (and dubiously qualified) leadership team - is Ray throwing in the towel?
KeyMoney 12/5/2012 | 12:54:22 AM
re: Polaris Picks Panditi as CEO Polaris' box (1/2 rack, and gobs of switching capacity) is supposed to compete with the likes of Tellabs and Alcatel. That makes them visionary. But vision and sucess are two different things. The main question is whether the "box" is working?

But your next point is well-taken. Why hire a high-profile CEO at this point? the new guy is either there to eventually establish a new management team, hint, EDD for Ray Kao and friends, or is an opportunist who was going to be fired by Convergent.

deepciscothroat 12/5/2012 | 12:54:19 AM
re: Polaris Picks Panditi as CEO Interesting posts
Let's look at Ray's track record:

- Stuff he built at Stratacom had to be rebuilt, completely, at Cisco. So no great shakes there

- Transmedia -- never shipped

- Polaris: what a load of crap. Who needs it?

Look at the lame bio on their website
"He has spoken at several networking conferences and served as a panel expert on optical networking & Voice Over IP in service provider markets. Ray has served as a board member and technical consultant at several leading networking companies. In 2002, Ray was selected as one of the Top 10 Innovators by Red Herring

Seems that Ray got lucky during the bubble but just suffered the ultimate kiss of death: being chosen by Red Herring as top 10 innovators (which means Polaris will die on the dung hill of false VC dreams)

No way Mario, Prem and the true leaders at Cisco would bail out Ray again

First acqusition, shame on u
Second acquisition, shame on me
Third acquistion: blow my brains out


jamesbond 12/5/2012 | 12:54:17 AM
re: Polaris Picks Panditi as CEO dct:

Transmedia -- never shipped
No way Mario, Prem and the true leaders at Cisco would bail out Ray again



I have to wonder what kind of kickback the true cheaters i mean leaders, Mario,Prem et all
got when they bought duds. Also how bad can
a product be that Cisco dropped it. Maybe
business side did not make sense and nothing to
do with it not working. I am not defending Ray
but I don't think that the true cheaters would
take this kind of risks.

I have question about another acquisition -
Cisco bought a small company started by ex-
Berkeley Networks guys in 99/2000. Was
wondering what happened to that.
optical_maverick 12/5/2012 | 12:54:14 AM
re: Polaris Picks Panditi as CEO Cisco in some cases will buy a start up and shelve the company just so the product/ technology does not hit the market.

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