Ringo Stars at Pluris -- For Now

Core router startup Pluris Inc. has confirmed the arrival of an acting CEO.

Pluris made news earlier this week with new layoffs in the wake of financial restructuring (see Pluris Hangs On). Part of the startup's tale of woe has been the departure of CEO Joe Kennedy in March (see Pluris CEO Bolts).

Now Pluris is no longer headless. Cynthia Ringo, ex-CEO of CopperCom Inc., started work full time yesterday at Pluris's headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.

But the company makes it clear she's just passing through. "Cynthia has made it clear she's not permanent here. She is not on trial in any way. She will help us in our recruiting evaluation," says Gary Law, Pluris's VP of marketing. "We'll get someone as soon as we can, but we are not going to rush. We will take our time to find the right person."

Like other core routing startups, Pluris is digging in for a long dry spell. Although industry sources say its traction has been good with large incumbent carriers, it's clear they won't be buying new core gear for awhile.

Law says Pluris's executive team has been running the show with the help of its board since the departure of Kennedy. He was originally set to act as interim CEO himself until a replacement was found. But the role apparently got old very soon.

Meantime, the company quickly found it needed someone in the wheelhouse. "There are just things you need a CEO to do," Law notes. Two of the company's board members/investors, ComVentures and JPMorgan Partners knew Ringo and suggested her as an interim CEO.

Ringo is a seasoned technology veteran familiar with the telecom economy and the ups and downs of startups. A lawyer by education, she went into business in the 1980s as a consultant and cofounded Red Brick Systems, a data warehousing company, in 1990. She moved on to Madge Networks and then in 1997 to CopperCom, a voice gateway company (see A Copper and Cable Revival?), where she stayed until that company underwent a restructuring in early summer 2001. She then became a venture capitalist, joining Blueprint Ventures in November 2001 as a partner (see Blueprint Adds Partners). When the firm underwent restructuring earlier this year, Ringo was out of work again -- and available.

At least for awhile.

— Mary Jander and Phil Harvey, Senior Editors, Light Reading

Sign In