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DWDM

Zaffire’s CEO Stands Down

DENVER -- Tony Lavia has resigned as CEO, president, and chairman of Zaffire Inc., a metro DWDM startup funded by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Lavia stepped down on Friday. He has been replaced by Near Margalit, Zaffire’s founder and CTO, who has assumed all of Lavia’s job titles and responsibilities.

The exact circumstances of Lavia’s departure are something of a mystery. Zaffire says that he resigned for personal reasons, and will continue to advise the board.

However, the scuttlebutt at the NFOEC conference here in Denver has it that Lavia was asked to leave.

In July, Light Reading received an email from an author who claimed inside knowledge of the company: “The CEO is over his head," said the email. "He yells at everyone claiming that he will fire everyone who stands in his way. There is a great internal struggle within Zaffire. If the company keeps [its] current CEO it will never succeed.”

Zaffire denies that there is any foundation to the claims made in the email.

Zaffire is one of two metro DWDM companies being backed by Vinod Khosla, partner at Kleiner Perkins. The other, ONI Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ONIS), went public in June and now has a market cap of around $12 billion.

-- Stephen Saunders, US editor, Light Reading, http://www.lightreading.com

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