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Siemens optics unit names top execs

The company forms an executive team to run its Optisphere unit as the German tech giant readies a stock offering in the United States.

German technology giant Siemens has appointed a chief executive officer for the company's new optical networking subsidiary.

Jost Spielvogel, formerly a senior executive for information and communications at Siemens, will lead Optisphere Networks, which was formed last April.

Siemens also named two others to the Optisphere management team, including Thomas Mader who will serve as president and chief operating officer. Mader formerly was a vice president at Lucent Technologies. Roy Koelbl, who came from Teleglobe, was named vice president and chief technical officer.

The Optisphere appointments come as Siemens readies a stock offering in the United States scheduled for next month. It also comes in advance of the possible initial public offering in March by another Siemens unit, Unisphere Networks.

Reston, Va.-based Optisphere, a subsidiary of Siemens Information and Communication Networks, manufactures high-speed fiber-optic transport and routing equipment. It will compete with Lucent, Nortel Networks, Cisco Systems and Ciena, among others.

Fiber-optic technologies are in high demand as communications carriers plan to build out their networks for future traffic increases. However, many carriers are more carefully scrutinizing their budgets amid the U.S. economy's slowdown, leaving fewer dollars available for the hundreds of communications and optical networking hardware makers.