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SDN Journal Authors: Pat Romanski, Wai Lam, Cloud Best Practices Network, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan

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Marlin Equity Partners Takes First Step in Plan to Merge Coriant and Tellabs

Marlin Equity Partners (“Marlin”), a global investment firm, today announced the formation of a single leadership and organizational structure for its Coriant and Tellabs portfolio companies. With a focus on customer value creation, this move represents the first step in a plan to merge the industry-leading networking suppliers under the Coriant brand. As part of today’s announcement, Marlin has appointed Bob Leggett as Chairman of the Board, Pat DiPietro as Chief Executive Officer and Herbert Merz as President and Chief Operating Officer of the unified organization. Dan Kelly, who is stepping down as Tellabs’ President and Chief Executive Officer, will remain in an advisory role during the transition process.

"Dan’s leadership and years of dedicated service at Tellabs have played an important part in the company’s heritage of technology innovation and product leadership,” said Bob Leggett, Chairman of the Board, Coriant. “We are pleased to have Dan’s support as we make this transition, and are excited to build upon the company’s distinguished heritage and successful track record of delivering customer-centric solutions. With the alignment of the organizations under a single leadership structure and a common vision, Marlin is taking an important step toward fully capitalizing on a highly complementary set of products and customers. Pat’s appointment is further evidence of Marlin’s commitment to Coriant and its customers. He brings deep industry knowledge and proven leadership experience to his role, and we are very pleased and fortunate to have someone of his caliber lead the combined organization.”

“I am thrilled to be joining an exceptional team of industry professionals and networking leaders at a time of unprecedented market opportunity,” said Pat DiPietro, Chief Executive Officer, Coriant. “From mobile cell sites to mission-critical enterprises and cloud data centers, the demand for agile broadband connectivity is fundamentally reshaping network and service requirements. The combined technical expertise and complementary product portfolios will significantly strengthen Coriant’s ability to deliver high-value end-to-end solutions to service providers, while accelerating Coriant’s leadership in software-defined networking, programmability, and automation for next-generation transport networks.”

The actions announced today leverage deep technical and operational collaboration already underway between the two organizations. The newly appointed leadership team will act in a single capacity over ongoing operations of both companies and is committed to ensuring a smooth and non-disruptive transition for all of its customers, who can expect business as usual for the near term.

“We are very excited about the opportunity to increase the immediate and long-term value we can bring to our customers globally,” said Herbert Merz, President and Chief Operating Officer, Coriant. “We remain committed to delivering superior customer support and unsurpassed product quality, and will ensure timely communications with our customers and business partners as we take further steps toward integration in the coming months.”

The executive appointments announced today underscore the company’s unwavering focus on technology innovation, customer-centric values, and service excellence. Mr. Leggett, a Marlin Operating Partner, brings to his role a wealth of executive-level management experience in the communications, optical systems and electronics industries. Over the course of a career in technology spanning over 30 years, Mr. DiPietro has launched several highly successful networking products and start-up ventures. Mr. DiPietro has extensive executive management and R&D experience in the telecommunications and technology industries, including senior leadership roles at Nortel and Bell Northern Research. Mr. Merz, whose President and COO role includes responsibility for Coriant sales, services, operations, procurement, IT and Human Resources, has over 20 years of executive management and leadership experience, as well as a deep background in account management, services, strategic transformations and operations. Prior to leading the formation of Coriant, Mr. Merz served as the Head of Nokia Siemens Networks Optical Networks Business Unit and was a member of the Executive Board of Nokia Siemens Networks.

Tellabs and Coriant’s industry-leading networking solutions will be showcased at upcoming industry events, including:

  • Mobile World Congress, February 24-27, 2014, Barcelona, Spain; Stand #10
  • OFC 2014, March 11-13, 2014, San Francisco, California; Booth #2511
  • WDM & Next Generation Optical Networking, APAC, March 24-26, 2014, Singapore; Stand #9/#10

In a separate press release, Marlin announced today that it will establish an independent business for the Tellabs Access product portfolio. The independent business will enable increased focus on the company’s Access business, while accelerating Tellabs’ market leadership position in Optical Local Area Network (OLAN) solutions for enterprises and government agencies.

About Marlin Equity Partners

Marlin Equity Partners is a global investment firm with over $2.6 billion of capital under management. The firm is focused on providing corporate parents, shareholders and other stakeholders with tailored solutions that meet their business and liquidity needs. Marlin invests in businesses across multiple industries where its capital base, industry relationships and extensive network of operational resources significantly strengthens a company's outlook and enhances value. Since its inception, Marlin, through its group of funds and related companies, has successfully completed over 70 acquisitions. The firm is headquartered in Los Angeles, California with an additional office in London. For more information, please visit www.marlinequity.com.

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