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Cabletron shuffles exec deck

The troubled firm introduces a reconfigured management team and addresses several issues facing it.

With good news flowing like molasses out of the firm these days, Cabletron Systems formally introduced a reconfigured management team under cofounder and new chief executive Craig Benson and addressed several issues facing it.

Questions concerning the future of Cabletron are abundant due to recent poor quarterly results on Wall Street and the subsequent resignation of chief executive Don Reed after seven months on the job. Benson, from his seat as chairman, decided to return to the daily fray of running the company.

"We're going to be very careful about what we do, but we're going to be very quick about what we do," Benson said.

In support of Benson, Allen Finch has become the company's senior vice president of marketing and corporate strategy, the first time marketing for the entire company has been run out of a single office, according to the chief executive.

To buttress the firm's push into third-party sales opportunities, Gulio Gianturco will oversee all of Cabletron's channels efforts from his position as president of the Digital Network Products Group and channels.

As previously reported, John D'Auguste will serve as president of operations and David Kirkpatrick will serve as executive vice president of finance, overseeing manufacturing and CIO functions as well.

Cabletron executives would not address reports of an upcoming acquisition, which surfaced last week. NetVantage, a company blessed with a channel presence, is rumored to be the target for Cabletron.

Executives did stress that new channel opportunities will be a primary focus for the firm, which made itself into a billion-dollar networking player largely via use of a direct sales force.

Benson also dismissed reports of troubled waters between himself and Reed. "We're taking Don's plan and running with it," he said. "To say that Don and I had a fallout is totally misstating the case."

Executives also clarified the reasons for the presence of Robert Levine, a former cofounder who stepped down from an active role in the company last summer, at Cabletron headquarters in recent weeks. D'Auguste said Levine was helping him to streamline operations at the company and would be consulting with the firm for three to four more weeks.