Almost a year to the date that Juniper Networks announced a shakeup of its executive ranks, the networking company has appointed former Macromedia CEO Stephen Elop as its new chief operating officer.
Elop, who until early December had been Adobes president of worldwide field operations following Macromedias merger with Adobe, will report directly to Junipers Chairman and CEO Scott Kriens.
Last January Juniper saw the departure of several high-level executives, including Jim Dolce, executive vice president of worldwide field operations, and Carol Mills, executive vice president of Junipers infrastructure products group. At that time Juniper announced several promotions, including the appointment of Eddie Minshull to executive vice president of worldwide field operations and Jeff Lindholm to chief marketing officer. Lindholm left the company last month, and Juniper is actively searching for his replacement, according to Tina Stewart, senior director of marketing at Juniper, in Sunnyvale, Calif.
As COO at Juniper, Elop will oversee the enterprise and service provider business teams, as well as the corporate development, global sales and service, marketing, and IT organizations. Reporting to him will be Minshull; Spencer Greene, vice president of business development; Alan Boehme, CIO; Kim Perdikou, executive vice president of the Infrastructure Products Group and general manager of the Service Provider Business Team; and Rob Sturgeon, general manager for Junipers Security Products and Enterprise Groups.
Elop will be charged with bringing “better focus and execution” to Juniper, according to Stewart. “Hes very strong on operations and is very intensive in that role,” she said. “He has a strong bias to align the organization and priorities to have operational excellence for the organization. He helped facilitate the [Adobe] acquisition of Macromedia and the seamless integration of their product suites.”
Kriens will continue to be responsible for business results, strategy, communication and talent development at Juniper.
Elop will be the first COO Juniper has had in several years. As the company continued to grow, the position became a necessary element of its executive team, believes Joe Skorupa, industry analyst with Gartner in Fremont, Calif.
“As companies get larger, its impossible for someone to wear both the CEO and COO hat. If youre doing very heavy travel, theres no one minding the store. You need someone focused on making things happen on a day-to-day basis,” he said.
One challenge for Juniper is to continue to build its enterprise channel, which was not a priority under Dolce, believes Skorupa. “Its tough to go from a service provider business to the enterprise. Its radically different, and it remains a challenge for Scott. It sounds like [Elop] understands the channel, and thats important,” he said.
With Elops experience as both a COO and CEO, Skorupa believes its possible that he was chosen with the thought of being an eventual successor to CEO Kriens. But Steward denied there is a plan of succession.