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Clarent names two new senior executives

Clarent appoints a new executive chairman and chief financial officer--the latest changes since the Internet telephony equipment maker reorganized two months ago.

    Clarent appointed a new executive chairman and chief financial officer on Wednesday, the latest changes since the Internet telephony equipment maker reorganized two months ago.

    Clarent, which makes equipment that allows people to make phone calls over the Net, appointed Barry Forman as executive chairman, where he will share management duties with current Chief Executive Jerry Chang.

    The company also appointed current vice president of finance and operations Simon Wong as its new chief financial officer. Wong, a former Sun Microsystems and Apple Computer executive, replaces Richard Heaps, who will leave the company at the end of April to pursue other interests, the company said.

    Clarent, a five-year-old company, has thrived despite formidable competition by bigger players such as Cisco Systems and Lucent Technologies.

    In the market for Net telephony equipment to telecommunications service providers, Clarent ranked third with 13 percent of the market, beating 3Com and Sonus Networks last year, according to market research firm Synergy Research Group. Of the $775 million in revenue in 2000, Cisco ranked first with 27 percent, followed by Lucent with 18 percent.

    Forman, currently a Clarent board member, was former president of private investment firm American Paradigm. Forman's initial goals are to increase the company's sales in North America and to recruit new senior executives and board members, a Clarent representative said.

    Synergy analyst Jeremy Duke said Clarent is trying to pump up its revenue in North America because half of its overall revenue last quarter came from China.

    Nevertheless, Clarent's strong showing in Asia helps protect the company from the slowing U.S. economy that has hurt its competitors, Duke added. Cisco, Lucent and 3Com, for example, are suffering from sluggish revenue growth because many U.S.-based telecommunications carriers have slowed down their spending.

    Two months ago, Clarent reorganized into three divisions, focusing on telecommunications carriers, businesses and "local access," which will allow service providers to offer consumers the ability to make phone calls over high-speed Net access. Clarent in the fourth quarter lost $2.1 million, or 5 cents per share, on revenue of $53.2 million.