House was a longtime Intel executive and former chief executive at Bay Networks before that company was acquired by Nortel in 1998. After the acquisition, House served as president of Nortel for a year before bowing out in August of 1999.
House, 57, reenters a networking market that has changed significantly since the days of the so-called Big Four: Cisco Systems, Cabletron Systems, Bay Networks and 3Com. Of the four, only Cisco remains whole, the others having been broken into pieces or acquired. New entrants, including such companies as Juniper Networks, Redback Networks and Sycamore Networks, have made significant inroads in the industry.
The San Jose, Calif.-based Allegro was founded last year. P.J. Singh, acting chief executive, will now serve as chief technology officer for the company. House will also serve as chairman and president.
Allegro is developing a networking device called the Wholesale Router System, made up of both hardware and software. Though details of the technology remain sketchy, the new router is targeted at telecommunications carriers and is intended to allow those companies to set up new services for customers quickly and lower the costs of operations, according to company information.
Allegro currently employs more than 125 people, according to its Web site.
House is known as one of the primary drivers of Intel's microprocessor strategy in its early days. He spent 22 years at Intel before taking the helm at Bay in 1996 and restarting the company after a failed merger of two equals, SynOptics Communications and Wellfleet Communications.
House has been on sabbatical since leaving Nortel in 1999. He currently sits on the board of directors of VillaMontage Systems, Salira Optical Networks and mDiversity.
Allegro has thus far received $24 million in a first round of financing from Bessemer Venture Partners, Columbia Capital and Infinity Capital.