Infrastructure // Networking
News
4/30/2008
12:00 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
Repost This

3Com CEO To Lead In China

Robert Mao's assignment follows a failed three-way deal involving 3Com, Huawei Technologies, and Bain Capital Partners.

After struggling for years to beef up its management presence in China, as of Wednesday, 3Com will have a new CEO based in the country.

Robert Mao, former president and CEO of Nortel's Greater China unit, was named to replace Edgar Masri, who is leaving 3Com. Mao, who has been serving as a 3Com director, previously served as a 3Com executive VP from August 2006 to March 2007.

Ronald Sege, who also formerly worked at 3Com, was named president and chief operating officer of the company. He will work out of the company's headquarters in suburban Boston and will report to Mao.

Earlier attempts to locate much of 3Com's management operations in China failed when the U.S. government's Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) indicated it would block a complicated three-way deal involving 3Com, Huawei Technologies, and Bain Capital Partners. The issue for CFIUS, which represents U.S. intelligence and defense agencies, was 3Com's TippingPoint unit, which produces sensitive security products.

After the complicated deal collapsed, 3Com said it would seek a $66 million breakup fee from Bain.

Now, 3Com's top manager is moving to China, where most of its employees already work. As for the TippingPoint unit, the company said Sege will "seek to maximize the value of its TippingPoint business."

Throughout the Byzantine negotiations, 3Com said its partnership with Huawei remained solid and that 3Com's H3C operation continued to function well. H3C, which operates a 4,500-person factory and research facility in China, sells routers, modular switches, and stackable switches to Huawei.

"Bob [Mao] brings the company a set of skills that are uniquely fitted to 3Com's current business needs," said Eric Benhamou, 3Com's board chairman, in a statement. "In addition to his 30 years in the global IT and telecommunications industry, Bob's bicultural background, extensive business experience in Asia, and fluency in Mandarin and English offer a rare set of skills that can bridge Chinese and Western organizations."

Mao holds degrees from Cornell and MIT. He pointed to the H3C operation as the key to 3Com's future. "In less than five years, H3C has built a broad, world-class portfolio of networking, video, and storage solutions and gained market share leadership in China. Our objective now is to combine the strength and momentum of H3C with 3Com's global customer base, well-recognized brand, service and support infrastructure, and proven distribution channel."

Sege, who worked in a variety of senior management positions at 3Com from 1989 to 1998, recently served as president and CEO of wireless networking provider Tropos Networks.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2014 Private Cloud Survey
2014 Private Cloud Survey
Respondents are on a roll: 53% brought their private clouds from concept to production in less than one year, and 60% ­extend their clouds across multiple datacenters. But expertise is scarce, with 51% saying acquiring skilled employees is a roadblock.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Elite 100 - 2014
Our InformationWeek Elite 100 issue -- our 26th ranking of technology innovators -- shines a spotlight on businesses that are succeeding because of their digital strategies. We take a close at look at the top five companies in this year's ranking and the eight winners of our Business Innovation awards, and offer 20 great ideas that you can use in your company. We also provide a ranked list of our Elite 100 innovators.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
GE is a leader in combining connected devices and advanced analytics in pursuit of practical goals like less downtime, lower operating costs, and higher throughput. At GIO Power & Water, CIO Jim Fowler is part of the team exploring how to apply these techniques to some of the world's essential infrastructure, from power plants to water treatment systems. Join us, and bring your questions, as we talk about what's ahead.