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3Com, Siemens assemble venture board

The two companies appoint a new general manager and board members for their $100 million telephony joint venture.

3Com and Siemens, finalizing details on a $100 million joint venture to create telephony products for local corporate networks, today announced a new general manager and board members for the venture.

Hans Schwarz, a Siemens senior vice president and general manager of the Information and Networks' enterprise data networking unit, will serve as general manager of the joint venture.

As previously reported, the companies were expected to appoint an executive to lead the joint venture this week. The venture aims to create telephony products to send voice and data calls over local corporate networks, or LANs.

Schwarz's most recent position involved overseeing Siemens' sales and development of enterprise network products, in addition to switch, networking, and application product development.

Unisphere Solutions, a new Siemens company, will represent Siemens' involvement in the joint venture.

Products expected to come out the venture include multimedia exchanges, or gateways, for voice, video, and data traffic and phones and adapters based on Ethernet networking technology. Also likely to play a role in the sales of these tools are 3Com's switching devices and accompanying network management software applications.

Meanwhile, 3Com named Janice Roberts, senior vice president of business development, and Edgar Masri, senior vice president of the Network Systems Business unit, to the joint venture board.

Siemens appointed Tom Burkardt, chairman and president of the Unisphere's Castle Networks, and Bernd Kuhlin, senior vice president of the Information and Communication Network Group's LAN products, to the board.

"We now have named a strong, dedicated management team for the joint ventures and are ready to further develop our vision for converged networks," said Roberts in a statement.

Last December, the two companies announced plans for the multimillion-dollar joint venture and have been hammering out the final details of its organizational structure since then.