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Ribbon Cuts Ties With Ray Dolan, Names New CEO

Iain Morris

Ribbon, the company created last month from a merger between Sonus and Genband, has named Fritz Hobbs as its new president and CEO following the resignation of Ray Dolan from those roles. (See Sonus Cuts a New Shape as Ribbon Communications.)

Hobbs is currently chairman of financial services company Ally Financial but has also been a director at Ribbon since it came into existence, said the company in a statement.

It claimed the staff moves were not linked to financial performance for the current quarter or progress so far on merger activities.

The company's share price had dropped 5.76% on the Nasdaq at the time of publication, to $7.85, following today's announcement.

Dolan, who led Sonus Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: SONS) before its merger with Genband, said the time had come for new leadership at the business.

"Ribbon now has the talent, scale and global reach to continue leading the transition to the emerging cloud architecture," he said in a statement. "This is the right time for me to transition overall leadership of the company and I wish everyone at Ribbon continued success."

Sonus and Genband Inc. completed their merger in November and under the Ribbon brand offer a parcel of professional services and technology products, including VoLTE and unified communications platforms, signaling systems and session border controls. Telco customers include America Movil, AT&T, BT, Optus, Verizon and Vodafone.

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However, the combined company's financials for 2016 make for grim reading. Despite generating about $680 million in revenues, Ribbon suffered an operating loss of about $31 million, even though its gross margins were 56.2%.

One of Hobbs's main goals will be to cut operating costs by up to $50 million next year in line with previously announced targets.

"With Fritz leading the company forward as CEO, there is strong alignment with the board on the vision and path to capture value for all shareholders," said Richard Lynch, Ribbon's chairman, in the company's statement. "He brings strong CEO, board-level, operational, integration and change management expertise."

Despite the company insistence that Dolan is not leaving because of financial performance or merger progress, his departure comes as something of a surprise, especially so soon after the combined company was christened.

Dolan had been a longstanding CEO at Sonus and was named the boss of the combined company when the merger was first announced as recently as May. (See Sonus & Genband Finally Combine to Form $745M Company .)

David Walsh, the former chairman and CEO of Genband, took charge of the new-look entity's cloud communications-platform-as-a-service (CPaaS) activities following the tie-up.

On his LinkedIn page, he continues to identify himself as Genband's chairman and CEO, roles he had held since 2013.

— Iain Morris, News Editor, Light Reading

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12/14/2017 | 2:49:23 PM
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