3Com boss to retire

Bruce Claflin, president and CEO at networking vendor 3Com, has announced that he will retire as soon as a replacement for his role is found. An executive search is already underway, with 3Com claiming that Claflin’s retirement is consistent with a succession plan agreed upon by the vendor’s Board of Directors.

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  January 13, 2006

Bruce Claflin, president and CEO at networking vendor 3Com, has announced that he will retire as soon as a replacement for his role is found. An executive search is already underway, with 3Com claiming that Claflin’s retirement is consistent with a succession plan agreed upon by the vendor’s Board of Directors. "Under Bruce’s leadership, 3Com developed a strategy to become a leading global provider of secure converged networking solutions for small, medium and large enterprises,” said Eric Benhamou, chairman of 3Com. “In support of that strategy, 3Com implemented a highly unique approach to competing in the networking market through the creation of our joint venture with Huawei.” “Furthermore, Bruce established 3Com as a leader in a high-growth market for network security through the TippingPoint acquisition. Moving forward, the 3Com Board intends to recruit a CEO who can build on the positive trends of the past few quarters as we continue to execute our strategy and drive 3Com toward profitable growth,” he added. Claflin himself is actively involved in the search for a new CEO — a process that is currently overseen by a committee of independent directors on 3Com’s Board. When a successor has been appointed, Claflin will act as senior advisor to the new CEO for six months to ensure a smooth transition for partners, customers and employees. “Over the past few years we have made solid progress in the execution of our strategy,” said Claflin. “With the improving financial performance of the company in recent quarters, including top-line and gross margin expansion as well as expense control, the company is well-positioned for future growth. These improvements coupled with my personal retirement objectives make this a good time to transition to new leadership.” 3Com has also reiterated its plan to reach a breakeven model, before restructuring and amortization expenses, in its fiscal quarter ending February 2007. Claflin’s successor will assume his position on the 3Com Board and as Chairman of Huawei-3Com. 54-year old Claflin took the top job at 3Com during 2001, when the networking industry was going through a downturn. During his time at the helm, Claflin has played a pivotal role pushing 3Com into the telecommunications arena through its joint venture with Chinese vendor Huawei.

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