Calix Taps Proven Sales and Marketing Executives to Accelerate Growth and Market Leadership
Company Appoints Four Vice Presidents in Response to Strong Growth, Broadband Stimulus Package
PETALUMA, CA—Calix, the largest communications equipment supplier focused solely on access solutions for broadband service delivery, today announced that it has expanded its leadership team with the appointment of four new executives to sales, marketing, and business and market development positions. Calix is also expanding its field and corporate operations to enhance its direct customer engagement model to capitalize on the company’s current strong rate of growth and to better prepare it for the potential impact the broadband stimulus component of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will have on its service provider customers.
The enhanced Calix field sales structure splits North America into two discrete regions to meet its continued market share gains and rapid growth. Ken Grelck joins Calix as vice president of regional sales for the Eastern U.S. and all of Canada. Skip Hirvela has been promoted to vice president of regional sales, with responsibility for the Western half of the U.S. Robert Checketts, the recently named vice president of field marketing, complements this new structure by driving all customer-facing marketing activities. Calix has also named Todd Ortberg to the new position of senior vice president of business and market development. In this role, Todd will handle new strategic business relationships as well as explore emerging market opportunities for the company.
With over 40 percent of the rural broadband service providers targeted by broadband stimulus already relying on Calix access platforms for broadband service delivery, and over two-thirds of U.S. service providers deploying Calix fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) equipment (Broadband Properties, March 2009), the company is in a prime position to benefit from the $7.2 billion in broadband stimulus funds earmarked for award by September 30, 2010. The new Calix executives will focus on cultivating customer, prospect, and partner relationships during this unique market opportunity, working with service providers to strategically evolve their networks and business models to best position themselves for the future.
“Challenging economic times present opportunities for customers and vendors alike,” said Carl Russo, president and CEO of Calix. “We have chosen to position ourselves for continued growth, and this new team of executives brings Calix and its customers the experience and resources required to capitalize on this opportunity.”
New Executives Leverage Strong Industry Experience
Ken Grelck has 26 years of experience in telecommunications, networking, and services, leading sales organizations of all sizes at Nortel Networks. Most recently, he was vice president of North American Sales, managing a 570-person sales team that generated more than $1.3 billion in revenue. Other leadership positions he held at Nortel include vice president of North American sales and vice president of major account sales. He holds a BS in business administration from the University of New York, an MBA from Campbell University, and served 4-years in the US Air Force.
During the past six years, Skip Hirvela has held regional sales manager positions at Calix and has been instrumental in introducing new products, penetrating new accounts, and growing the company’s market share. He has 20 years of sales and marketing experience in the telecommunications and networking industry, most recently as director of sales at Myrio Corp. Skip has also worked at NetworkTwo Communications, DecisionOne, Reltec, and AT&T Global Information Systems. Skip holds a BS in business administration from Miami University and an MBA from the University of Dayton.
Robert Checketts has gained extensive experience in the past 25 years with successful start-ups and companies in the technology, telecommunications, and networking industry. He joins Calix from Juniper Networks where as director of Americas marketing he supported the full range of Juniper products across all markets. In addition, Robert has held executive marketing positions at Cisco Systems, Yosemite Technologies, Lucent, Sun Microsystems, and Novell. He holds a BA in business/marketing from the University of Utah.
Todd Ortberg has spent 24 years in the telecommunications industry in a variety of roles. Previously, he was president and CEO of network software technology vendor Alvarri. Prior to Alvarri, Todd was managing director of Coral Capital Management, where he led communications investments in dozens of venture backed companies. Todd has also held leadership roles at ADC Telecommunications, where he served as vice president and general manager of its Cable Access Systems division and vice president of engineering. Prior to ADC, Todd held numerous marketing and engineering management positions with Rockwell International and Texas Instruments, and was an adjunct faculty member at Upper Iowa University, where he taught Business Strategy. He has a BS in engineering from Iowa State University and an MBA from the University of Iowa, Tipple School of Management.
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