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Redback's Khosravi Question Answered

Bijan Khosravi, who had employed the title of vice president of marketing at Redback Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: RBAK) but wasn't really VP of marketing at Redback, confirmed that he will be leaving the company. But fears that he might take some of Redback's engineering team with him to a startup have subsided.

Several sources close to Redback indicated that the company has been trying to find a new role for Khosravi, who held the vice president of marketing title at Siara before its merger with Redback. Redback VP of marketing Larry Blair, considered one of the premier marketers in the industry, has been running Redback's marketing program. Khosravi did not accept the new employment options given him and resigned, sources say.

Redback officials said that Khosravi was never vice president of marketing at Redback and that they had been working to find him a role, possibly in the sales organization. But they could not confirm whether he was leaving to form a startup.

Sound confusing? Well, it is. That's because Khosravi, for whatever reason, has been introduced at times as the vice president of marketing at Redback--a title that some Redback officials are now saying he never officially held.

Because Blair is more well known in the industry and has led Redback's marketing program from the beginning, the changes were not expected to have much impact on the company's business.

On Wednesday, Khosravi said at the Opticon conference that he would be leaving Redback. Then the rumors started flying: Khosravi was taking some of Redback's crack ASIC engineering team with him to start a company temporarily named "Jasmine." But since then, Light Reading has spoken with several people close to the matter who say that Khosravi, who would be leaving a substantial amount of unvested stock on the table by leaving Redback, was having trouble convincing Redback engineers to do likewise.

There has been a continual shuffling of executive titles at Redback, following the merger with Siara, which Redback purchased for $4.3 billion -- roughly forty percent of its stock at the time. Dennis Barsema, the former CEO and a Redback original, has taken the title of vice chairman, while Vivek Ragavan, Siara's CEO, has become the CEO of Redback. And according to some sources, more shuffling may be on the way.

-- R. Scott Raynovich, executive editor, Light Reading (http://www.lightreading.com)
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