Juniper remakes upper management

Juniper remakes upper management

Juniper Networks has shuffled upper management and filled a six-month void in its top marketing position, part of what the company claims is a "structured succession plan."

Three high-ranking executives are leaving the company to pursue other opportunities, according to Juniper. They include Jim Dolce, executive vice president of Worldwide Field Operations, responsible for global sales and service; Carol Mills, executive vice president and general manager, Infrastructure Products Group (IPG); and Jef Graham, executive vice president, Application Products Group (APG).

Dolce joined Juniper with the company's acquisition of edge router maker Unisphere Networks in 2002 and was instrumental in building the enterprise sales channel after the acquisition of NetScreen Technologies in 2004. Juniper's enterprise results to date have been mixed -- the company is coming off a solid quarter in sales of its NetScreen security products, but previous sales have been lackluster. Also, the company is having trouble ramping sales of its J-series access routers and the application acceleration and WAN optimization products obtained from the acquisitions of Redline Networks and Peribit Networks last year (See story).

Dolce has been replaced by one of his lieutenants, Eddie Minshull, who had been vice president of sales for Juniper's Europe, Middle East and Asia operations.

Another Dolce report, Jeff Lindholm, has been named chief marketing officer, effectively taking over for Vice President of Marketing Christine Heckart, who left Juniper last June for Microsoft. Lindholm had been managing Juniper's worldwide sales organization for the past three-and-a-half years.

Mills oversaw Juniper's router portfolio, which made up the IPG, for a little over a year. She is leaving the company to increase her board-of-directors activity and pursue other interests, Juniper says. Mills will be replaced on an interim basis by one of her reports, IPG Associate General Manager Kim Perdikou. Juniper said it is conducting a search for a permanent replacement for Mills.

Graham is leaving Juniper to become CEO of a private company. He'll be replaced by Paulette Altmaier, a nine-year Cisco veteran who was responsible for a US$1 billion product line and led the creation of many key platforms there, including Cisco's successful Integrated Services Router.

Each of these appointments will report to Chairman and CEO Scott Kriens.

The management changes come as Juniper prepares to report its fourth-quarter results on Jan. 25. Some analysts, like UBS Warburg, expect another unimpressive quarter for Juniper's enterprise products, which Juniper refers to as its Service Layer Technologies (SLT).

"SLT sales (are) likely to be in-line or below our estimate of US$118 million," states UBS Analyst Nikos Theodosopoulos in a recent research note. "Our channel checks suggest WAN Optimization and European security sales could cause some weakness in SLT."

UBS expects IPG to meet or exceed its sales estimate of US$379 million for the quarter. Overall, UBS is reducing its 2006 revenue and earnings per share estimates for Juniper to US$2.627 billion and US$0.89, from US$2.752 billion and US$0.93, respectively.

UBS now expects SLT to grow 42 percent in 2006 vs. its prior estimate of 52 percent and

2005 growth of 56 percent, due to lower acquisition revenues. The firm also reduced its 2006 growth estimates for IPG to 21 percent vs. a prior estimate of 27 percent and 2005 growth of 40 percent, due to expected share loss in edge routers and same share in core.

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