No Jitter is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Early Thoughts on Avaya's Choice of Kevin Kennedy

* For a company that continues to struggle with a culture divided between "old timers," e.g., those that remember their Bell System NCS date (net credit service) and "newbies," those brought in more recently with a software and/or data focus, Kennedy would appear to be a perfect choice. With 17 years of Bell Labs in his bio he has both the background and credibility to manage the old timers to new greatness. His past 15 years or so, at Cisco and JDS Uniphase, give him the data side.

* FOG Status. While likely not a requirement of the job, Friend of Giancarlo status likely didn't hurt Kennedy either. It's not just that the two executives overlapped during their time at Cisco, they came up the ranks together. They started at Cisco within six months of one another and in August 1998 were both named SVPs on the same day.

* Turnaround Experience: Kennedy's most recent experience, at JDS U, prepares him for a challenge. In the four years before he arrived, revenues at JDS U had dropped 88 percent, from $4.1 billion to half a billion and losing money. Fiscal year 2008 revenues were back up to $1.5 billion, profitably.

While the scenario at Avaya is not as dismal as one at JDS U when Kennedy took over, certainly the folks at Silver Lake and TPG would love to see a three-fold increase in revenues. We'll see.

* Irish: With Irish-born Barry O'Sullivan and Jim O'Neill running respectively Voice Technology business at Cisco and Siemens Enterprise Networks, it would appear that Irish execs are the choice du jour for both publicly-traded and privately-held firms. We at McGee-Smith Analytics will continue to watch this particular trend closely.