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Oplink Changes Hands

The Joe Liu era ends

Craig Matsumoto

August 14, 2008

1 Min Read
Oplink Changes Hands

5:50 PM -- Maybe it's not as monumental as Scott Kriens stepping aside at Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR), but Joe Liu is no longer going to be CEO at Oplink Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: OPLK) starting next year.

This is one of those cases where the CEO's personality is strong enough to define a company; I've always considered Oplink to be Joe Liu. He'll stick around as executive vice chairman, but the optical components company has tapped president Thomas Keegan, who came on board in May, to be chief executive. The news, along with a new COO appointment, came down today as Oplink announced earnings. (See Oplink CEO Resigns, Oplink Reports Q4, and Oplink Announces Appointments.)

Joe can be a colorful guy, and I enjoyed the one interview I've had with him, back in 2004. (See Oplink Migrates East.) But I've also heard it said that his personality made it tough for other companies to consider buying Oplink. Liu does seem like he'd be a tough negotiator.

Oplink did some acquiring of its own, with plenty of drama attached. OCP came into the fold only after some legal maneuverings. And then there was the weird Avanex Corp. (Nasdaq: AVNX) saga of 2002. (See Oplink: We're Down With OCP, OCP Pops a Poison Pill, Legal Battle Drags Down Oplink , and Oplink & OCP Seal Deal — and: Avanex/Oplink Merger: Tip of the Iceberg?, Avanex/Oplink Raises Some Hackles, and Avanex and Oplink: Wedding's Off.)

Maybe the CEO change indicates a strategy change to come. We might have to follow this one up. Meanwhile, I'll be listening in on the Oplink conference call.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Craig Matsumoto

Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

Yes, THAT Craig Matsumoto – who used to be at Light Reading from 2002 until 2013 and then went away and did other stuff and now HE'S BACK! As Editor-in-Chief. Go Craig!!

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