Metaswitch Announces New CEO

Was just on a briefing call about some news from Metaswitch. I don't track news items as a matter of course, but this announcement came my way on short notice, and being a company I follow closely, it's worth noting.

Metaswitch is a great example of a company that goes about its business quietly, deliberately and effectively. These really aren't 2.0-style virtues, but I'll take their track record any day over the fast and furious.

The news item is pretty pedestrian - Kevin DeNuccio takes the CEO reins from John Lazar, who now moves into the Chairman spot, in turn from Ian Feguson, who remains on the board. You can read the details here on the press release that just ran this morning.

Kevin has big company experience from Redback Networks and Cisco, and it looked like a good move when he came on board as a director in 2008. I've seen this with other companies who are ramping up for growth and/or targeting bigger customers. This type of pedigree can be invaluable on a few levels, and it's not surprising to see Kevin now in the CEO spot.

You could argue the company wanted more of a U.S.-based/style of CEO, but I think that's the short answer. Their culture is too strong, and I don't see them becoming a rah-rah type of company trying to get really big by acquiring competitors and raising lots of money to fund it. That's not their style.

I see this more as another step along the way to deepen their management team, and position the company for continued, global growth. Metaswitch is definitely growing into new frontiers, namely wireless and developer-based applications, and of course moving further up the chain with bigger telco customers. I can see Kevin's presence helping with bigger telcos, but I'm not as sure about these other areas.

Regardless, I think this sends a positive message that Metaswitch is well positioned for 2010, and having gone through some corporate re-jigging/branding last year, they have a plan in place, and this news is just part of how they're executing on it.

I'm still not entirely sure why this move is happening and why now, and we'll just have to take it on the faith that it's all for the best. My only concern is their ability to assure core customers that nothing changes for them. They've done a great job acquiring - and keeping - Tier 2/3 carriers, and will need to be careful not to give them a reason to think they're moving away to chase bigger game. We got assurances on the call this won't happen, and I'm confident that's how things will unfold. They know their roots too well - just consider where their next customer forum takes place - Nashville. Great music aside, I can't think of a better spot to be among your people. I hope Kevin likes country and bluegrass....