BigBand Shakes Up Management Team

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BigBand Networks announced the resignation of COO David Heard and sales chief Sean Rooney, and CEO Amir Bassan-Eskenazi agreed to relinquish the chairman role, which will be assumed by cable industry veteran Mike Pohl.

The changes "are designed to ensure the company is even more agile in the execution of its strategy for sustained growth in digital video networking," the video-equipment company said in a statement.

BigBand is the leading provider of switched digital video systems, with deployments or planned deployments representing 33 million homes passed. But the company has struggled to maintain profitability, with 2009 sales falling 25%, and some analysts have suggested the SDV market has limited future growth potential.

Also Thursday, BigBand announced that Ray Fitzgerald has been promoted to vice president of worldwide cable sales, and Wayne Gaudette will continue as vice president of telco sales. Both will report directly to Bassan-Eskenazi.

Heard's resignation is effective immediately but he will remain as a consultant through June 30, 2010. Rooney, who was senior vice president of worldwide sales, will remain with BigBand through April 1, 2010. Bassan-Eskenazi will continue to serve as BigBand's CEO and will continue to serve as a member of the board of directors.

Pohl, who was appointed to the BigBand board in April 2009, is currently CEO of Jinni, an Israel-based startup that has developed a "mood-based" discovery system for movies and TV shows.
Pohl joined Jinni last year, after serving as vice president and general manager of on-demand systems at Arris, which acquired C-COR in 2007.

"Having an independent chairman elevates our governance structure to ‘best practices,' which is critical in today's business environment," Bassan-Eskenazi said in a statement. "Mike brings an immense wealth of experience in guiding companies through their critical growth cycles, and we are delighted that he has accepted this important role."

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