Finisar Corp. (NASDAQ:FNSR) has entered a new chapter in its history with the announcement yesterday that Michael Hurlston has replaced co-founder Jerry Rawls as CEO and Lead Director Robert Stephens will assume Rawls's role as chairman of the board. Rawls will remain with the company as a director.
The maker of optical components and subsystems had revealed last September that Rawls planned to surrender his CEO title (see "Finisar's Rawls set to retire CEO role"). As there was no mention in September of his duties as chairman, his intentions regarding that role were unclear, even to Finisar employees Lightwave contacted at the time.
Hurlston, who was also named a director of the company, comes to Finisar from Broadcom Ltd., where he most recently held the title of senior vice president and general manager of the Mobile Connectivity Products/Wireless Communications and Connectivity Division. Having joined the communications semiconductor developer in 2001, Hurlston also held senior leadership positions in sales, marketing, and general management at the company. He has extensive additional experience in the semiconductor industry on the strength of tenures at Oren Semiconductor, Inc., Avasem, Integrated Circuit Systems, Micro Power Systems, Exar, and IC Works. Hurlston is a director of Ubiquiti Networks, Inc. and a member of the board of advisors of Vilynx Inc.
"I'm thrilled that Michael is going to lead Finisar into the future," said Rawls. "Michael's experience, proven technical skills, and leadership abilities will serve Finisar, our customers, employees, and stockholders very well. At Finisar, we have built a great company with fantastic employees dedicated to serving our customers' needs and developing world-leading, cutting-edge technology products. I am confident that Michael is the right person to lead us to even greater success."
"I am very excited to join Finisar and lead the great company that Jerry and his fellow employees have built," said Hurlston. "Finisar has world-leading products and technology, engineering talent, and manufacturing capabilities and a reputation for excellence in the industry and with its customers. The optical communications and components industry is rapidly advancing and there are many new exciting customer opportunities. I look forward to getting to work."
Stephens joined Finisar's board in August 2005. He formerly served as president and CEO of Adaptec Inc., founder and CEO of Power I/O, and president and CEO of Emulex Corp. He also held management positions at Western Digital Corp. and IBM earlier in his career.
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