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Zaffire Zaps Marketing VP

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
1/26/2001

Rob Keil, VP of marketing for Zaffire Inc., a metro area DWDM startup, packed his bags this week and left the San Jose headquarters for good. According to sources close to the company, Keil wasn't seeing eye to eye with CEO Jim Fultz, and he was asked to leave.

Zaffire says that Keil left for personal reasons.

According sources who asked to remain unnamed, tensions between the sales force and the marketing team had been mounting for some time.

“Friction between sales and marketing at Zaffire? That’s an understatement,” says one former salesman who left the company earlier this month.

The problems stems from unfilled expectations on both ends, according to the source. The marketing people were said to be upset with the sales team for not following through on their requests to gather information from customers, said the former employee. And members of the sales team felt that the marketing team didn’t respond quickly enough when sales people needed support for request for proposals (RFPs).

Zaffire refused to comment on the nature of Keil's departure.

Today the company announced that Alan Hellawell will replace Keil as VP of strategic marketing. Hellawell, who had served as the director of business development at Zaffire, will wear three hats at the company. He will continue to handle business development as well as investor relations and marketing for the company.

This scuttlebutt follows several shifts in the company’s management (see Zaffire Keeps It in the Family ). Earlier this month the company also laid-off about 20 percent of its sales force (see Zaffire Fires 20% of Sales Team).

--Marguerite Reardon, senior editor, Light Reading, http://www.lightreading.com

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NationalEnquirer
NationalEnquirer
12/4/2012 | 8:58:51 PM
re: Zaffire Zaps Marketing VP
Just visited the company. The latest release of the Z3000 is powerful and small. If the DWDM market continues to grow, this company will be a household name.

> This story is in line with several others that have appeared at this site on zaffire. Sounds like zaffire is gradually headed on a downward spiral. Sign of hard times in the optical sector, period. We can blame the product, management, etc.....however the bottonline is too many of these stories will finalize the demise of zaffire and other optical networking startups.

good job marguerite !! you may be able to wake us all up and save the optical sector !
heavyreading
heavyreading
12/4/2012 | 8:58:51 PM
re: Zaffire Zaps Marketing VP
This story is in line with several others that have appeared at this site on zaffire. Sounds like zaffire is gradually headed on a downward spiral. Sign of hard times in the optical sector, period. We can blame the product, management, etc.....however the bottonline is too many of these stories will finalize the demise of zaffire and other optical networking startups.

good job marguerite !! you may be able to wake us all up and save the optical sector !
Bones
Bones
12/4/2012 | 8:58:50 PM
re: Zaffire Zaps Marketing VP
There are some new and talented folks heading up Zaff's marketing and sales efforts. They have several trials going on now, their senior leadership is experienced and in sync, and Zaffire's technology is again begin talked about as a viable sol'n. I think the sales/mktg clash is water under the bridge.
msmith@aol.com
[email protected]
12/4/2012 | 8:58:48 PM
re: Zaffire Zaps Marketing VP
I agree that Zaffire will kick some butts in the marketplace... Have met some of their execs in the past and they are extremely competent. Sad to see that this publication profits from gossiping about so many fine industry players...
Jimi
Jimi
12/4/2012 | 8:58:48 PM
re: Zaffire Zaps Marketing VP
Dear Bitter heavyreading,

Sorry that you were let go from the company. It's NOT hard to tell from the tone of your email. This Zaffire chit chat is great for the company though. Don't you see that? The new CEO is doing what is ABSOLUTELY necessary for the company. Start-ups have to be lean with management. Remember....Generally speaking, you aren't learning much if your mouth is moving! Fair warning....Zaffire is picking up momentum. There is more focus than ever now with the direction of the company and more importantly, WHERE the product fits in the market (Metro/Regional). As the great Jimi Hendrix once sung "Let me stand next to Zaffire" Let the optical WAR begin! BRING IT ON!!!
light_on_dude
light_on_dude
12/4/2012 | 8:58:39 PM
re: Zaffire Zaps Marketing VP
This is curious to watch any Zaffire posting. It's like watching the last US presidential race. If you are negative about what you read, You are told you are just a bitter ex employee. If you say something positive, you tell the world just how brilliant you are??
Why do Zaffire defenders get so hostile so fast? If you take the blinders off....all these moves and cuts are very unsettling, aren't they? I would call this a very high risk investment, wouldn't you?
SPARKLE
SPARKLE
12/4/2012 | 8:58:39 PM
re: Zaffire Zaps Marketing VP
Zaffire is exactly like many of it's peers. Cutting edge product (the 3000 is almost bug-free) cuttine edge personalities driving it's product towards success and acceptance. Surprise, surprise there is friction between marketing and sales. Strong personalities make strong products make strong companies.
photonic314
photonic314
12/4/2012 | 8:58:38 PM
re: Zaffire Zaps Marketing VP
All those employees and family memebers of Zaffire, please stand up! Criticism...Get over it! Zaffire is an optical company that is having management problems...you don't think lightreading, analysts and others are going to view the VP of marketing's departure as a really excellent, righteous, event ...HEEEELLLLLOOOOOOOO...I think not!

Oh ya what kind of bugs remain in the 3000...maggets or butterflies?
optoinfo
optoinfo
12/4/2012 | 8:58:38 PM
re: Zaffire Zaps Marketing VP
I have heard that VP Engineering is also interviewing with his buddies at Atoga system.
This guy has to go, he has not done much for Zaffire except be lazy and waiting to cash in. No
management style at all, no vision and no technical skills.

Back up your bags buddy. Engineering is next!
Zaffire has to go! Kiss your dreams goodbye Near.
optoinfo
optoinfo
12/4/2012 | 8:58:38 PM
re: Zaffire Zaps Marketing VP
I have heard that VP Engineering is also interviewing with his buddies at Atoga system.
This guy has to go, he has not done much for Zaffire except be lazy and waiting to cash in. No
management style at all, no vision and no technical skills.

Back up your bags buddy. Engineering is next!
Zaffire has to go! Kiss your dreams goodbye Near.
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