Former 3Com CEO to head start-up

Caspian Networks, which makes optical equipment for telecom carriers, taps former Exodus and 3Com exec Bill Krause to be its president and CEO.

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Caspian Networks announced Tuesday that Bill Krause has taken over as the company's president, chief executive officer and chairman.

The San Jose, Calif.-based company makes optical equipment for telecommunications carriers. Krause replaces former Caspian CEO Bill Sickler, who joined the company last year and will pursue opportunities outside the company.

"Now that (Caspian) is entering a new phase, it needs to become a sales and marketing-driven company," Caspian board member David Liddle said in a statement, "and the most successful companies in this space typically have experienced marketing-oriented, customer-facing CEOs."

Caspian recently completed a fourth round of funding in which it brought in $120 million. Company spokesman Dallas Kachan said the company is funded well into 2004. Caspian has its Apeiro gear in trials with potential customers and expects to make sales off its product later this year.

Krause spent 14 years at Hewlett-Packard in various marketing and general management roles. Later he served as 3Com's CEO from 1981 to 1990, a period during which the network equipment maker went from start-up to publicly traded company. He also acted as the company's chairman between 1987 and 1993.

Krause founded LWK Ventures, a private investment firm, in 1993, and spent time as the CEO of Storm Technology, a digital imaging company, from 1991 to 1998.

Most recently, he joined the board of Web-hosting company Exodus Communications in June of 2000 and took over as CEO in September 2001 when Ellen Hancock resigned. Cable & Wireless bought Exodus in December of that same year, and in February the company said its chief financial officer was scheduled to take over as CEO.