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Riverstone names new CEO

The network equipment maker names its new chief, appointing former Nortel executive Oscar Rodriguez to the post.

Network equipment maker Riverstone Networks named its new chief executive officer Wednesday, appointing former Nortel Networks executive Oscar Rodriguez to the post.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company announced earlier this year that it would seek a new CEO, as Romulus Pereira--who led the company since it spun off from Cabletron Systems in 2001--transitioned into the post of chairman.

Rodriguez served as president of Nortel's Enterprise Solutions and Intelligent Internet divisions, where he was responsible for the company's multibillion-dollar voice and data operations. The new Riverstone CEO also formerly held the position of president and chief operating officer at Arris Interactive, a communications technology provider.

"There is a clear need to enable cost-effective, high-quality network services delivery capabilities in carrier and mission-critical networks today," Rodriguez said in a statement. "I am impressed with the potential in Riverstone's diverse global customer base, the depth of its technology portfolio, and the talents of its employees, and I'm eager to align all of those assets in order to build a company that sets the standard for delivering high value for all of its stakeholders."

The executive joins Riverstone at a crucial juncture in its short history. The company received a request from the Securities and Exchange Commission in April for information regarding its accounting practices.

In July, Riverstone acknowledged that it overstated revenue for the past two fiscal years based on improper accounting practices. Riverstone reported that it overstated its fiscal 2002 revenue of $210.8 million by as much as $47.3 million, and its fiscal 2003 revenue of $69.6 million by about $4.2 million. The company blamed the mistake on its policies related to accounting for returned equipment.

Riverstone is also engaged in a battle for market share in the network gear sector. The company's recently introduced 10-gigabit-per-second XGS switches are fighting for recognition against similar high-speed networking products from Cisco Systems, Force10 Networks and Foundry Networks.