Finisar's Rawls set to retire CEO role

Finisar Corp's (NASDAQ:FNSR) co-founder, chairman, and CEO, Jerry Rawls, will retire that last title by the end of next calendar year, the company has announced. The announcement states that Rawls "intends to retire as Chief Executive Officer." However, a source at the company declined to comment on whether that means Rawls will retain his role as chairman.

Finisar Corp's (NASDAQ:FNSR) co-founder, chairman, and CEO, Jerry Rawls, will retire that last title by the end of next calendar year, the company has announced. The announcement states that Rawls "intends to retire as Chief Executive Officer." However, a source at the company declined to comment on whether that means Rawls will retain his role as chairman.

The company said its board of directors will consider both internal and external options as it searches for "Mr. Rawls' successor as CEO."

"Jerry co-founded the company nearly 30 years ago in a Quonset hut in Menlo Park, California," recapped Robert Stephens, Finisar's lead director, via the announcement. "Under Jerry's leadership, Finisar went public in 1999 and has grown to be one of the world's top optics companies, with industry-leading revenues of more than $1.4 billion during its most recent fiscal year. While his leadership will be missed, Jerry has placed Finisar on solid ground to continue to build on its success and market-leading position."

Finisar, now based in Sunnyvale, CA, occupies the top spot in market share among component and subsystems companies. It owned 14.8% of the highly competitive and fragmented market at the end of 2016 and has topped the market share charts since 2008, according to May 2017 data from Ovum Finisar offers on its investors website page. It has an expansive portfolio of modules and other products for both service provider (including both telcos and cable MSOs) and datacom applications, a breadth aided in part by several acquisitions (see, "Finisar to buy u2t Photonics for $20 million,""Finisar to acquire amplifier vendor RED-C Optical Networks," and "Analysts get behind Finisar/Optium merger" for just a few examples).

As seen in the video below (taken at OFC, where he has annually hold court, in 2015), Rawls also expressed interest in purchasing Lumentum as it was in the process of splitting off from JDSU. That deal has not come to pass.

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