Calix’s CEO Still at Top of His Game

February, 2016

Over the last 15 years or so, a lot of great executive talent has left the telecom/datacom optical space either because they made a killing during the bubble, it became time for them to retire, or perhaps they had the good sense to get out of an industry in which it can be extremely difficult to make money. One notable exception is the CEO of Calix, Carl Russo, who rather quietly has continued to use his exceptional skills in a fairly successful way to execute on a very focused business strategy in the space. While like any leader, he has his share of imperfections, Calix has been a company that reflects the best characteristics of the man himself, a solid identification with integrity and credibility, often sorely lacking in our business. When Cisco Systems bought Cerent at an incredibly high price, the one aspect that had to undoubtedly impress John Chambers the most was the...

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Calix: Long-Term Optical Powerhouse

March, 2018

During the first Market Watch panel at OFC 2018, MKM Partners’ Mike Genovese, one of a relatively few prominent investment analysts, who has real intimacy with the optical space, said that “he believes that companies, which will play instrumental roles in 5G backhaul and fronthaul, are under-appreciated.” In the past, we have expressed our view that Calix will be a large beneficiary because it was all-in on NG-PON2 from the beginning, and that the financial rewards will occur mainly after Verizon Wireless starts building its 5G fixed wireless network in a big way. The supplier will have sufficient scale to go after many large accounts (without needing to go through Ericsson) because we believe that next-generation solution will likely become the de facto standard for much of the world. (Still, it should be noted that Calix will support an XGS-PON optic on the same system.) We...

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Tibit: Last “Telecom Valley” Optic Hurrah

August, 2019

  Over the years, nobody can deny that some of the most prominent “Petaluma Telecom Valley” entrepreneurs/engineers were courageous in taking on the huge, technological challenges, in the inherently hardest sector to generate meaningful and sustainable profitability, from the perspective of both optical infrastructure suppliers and service providers: the access portion of the network. It has always been difficult because much of that “last mile” involves residential traffic across a range of incomes, but regardless, there has increasingly been an overall propensity on the part of these subscribers, in general, to expect superior service, without a significant rise in the price. There has also been the classic struggle to gain easy, direct entry into these homes. Nevertheless, the Petaluma approach was to take the new technology to the next stage of complexity, while still...

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