Birck, citing cancer, to step down as Tellabs chairman

Tellabs Chairman and Co-Founer Michael J. Birck has revealed that he has contracted a rare form of leukemia and will retire when his current term runs out next spring. This is the second time this year that cancer has struck a senior member of the Tellabs management team. CEO Rob Pullen died of cancer in July.

Aug 27th, 2012

Tellabs Chairman and Co-Founder Michael J. Birck has revealed that he has contracted a rare form of leukemia and will retire when his current term runs out next spring. This is the second time this year that cancer has struck a senior member of the Tellabs management team. CEO Rob Pullen died of cancer in July (see “Tellabs CEO Pullen dies from cancer”).

Birck made the announcement via a letter to shareholders, employees, and customers on August 24. The letter states that he has been diagnosed with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia, a bone marrow cancer he said “is treatable, but it is not curable.”

He has begun chemotherapy treatments for the disease. “I feel good, but I understand that this is something I must expect to live with from now on,” Birck wrote.

Birck also wrote that he expects to maintain an active role on the board until his retirement.


More in Companies