Proxim Reorganizes

By Eric Griffith

December 10, 2002

In what the company calls an 'offensive, not defensive' move, Proxim will shuffle executives, look for a new president, and move from four to two operating divisions.

Wireless wide-area and local-area network provider Proxim Corporation yesterday announced major changes for the Sunnyvale, CA-based company to simplify its divisions and place executives in better positions to take advantage of sales and strategic relationships.

"These moves place two of our most senior and knowledgeable executives in positions where they can impact revenue over the long and short term," said chairman and CEO Jonathan Zakin in a company statement.

The company will consolidate its Broadband Services Division (ORiNOCO outdoor products and Tsunami point-to-multipoint products) into the WAN division (with the Lynx and Tsunami branded point-to-point products) to be run by Kevin Duffy, now the senior vice president and general manager of the WAN Division. Duffy joined the company earlier this year from Siemens.

Amir Zoufonoun, the former executive VP and general manager of the WAN Division, will now become the executive VP of WAN Strategy and Business Development.

802.11 Planet Conference & Expo keynote speaker Angela Champness is now senior VP and general manager of the LAN Division. The division will encompass both the former LAN Division (ORiNOCO and Proxim's legacy 802.11a and 11b products) and the Original Equipment Manufactuer (OEM) division. Champness joined the company earlier this year from Agere, where she was the general manager of the ORiNOCO product line. Proxim acquired the ORiNOCO products from Agere Systems in the late summer of 2002.

David King will move out of his post as president and chief operating officer and settle into the newly created position of vice chairman of the board of directors, where he will run LAN Strategy and Business Development for the company, reporting to Zakin. The company has formed a committee to search for a new president/COO; in the interim Zakin will assume that role as well.

In a conference call with analysts and investors, King said, "I'm choosing to change my position now after putting in effort to build Proxim, Inc. Having just crossed my ten year anniversary, it has been an amazing decade. Wireless LAN and Wi-Fi are household names. We've made a lot of progress."

Zakin said, "This move is not defensive, it's not because something is wrong with the business. It's to move Proxim to the next level... it's a very offensive move."

The decision to reorganize was not anticipated at the time of the ORiNOCO acquisition, but according to Zakinthe need for it "evolved as we got more experience with the three companies put together." The three companies in question are Proxim, the acquired ORiNOCO product division, and Western Multiplex, which Proxim, Inc., merged with in March 2002 to form Proxim Corporation.

According to Dow Jones, Proxim stock was down to $1.24 in after-hours trading yesterday after closing at $1.54 per share, but was back up to $1.42 this morning. The company's 52-week high was $5.99 per share back in December of 2001. They went as low as $.40 in October this year.

Eric Griffith is the managing editor of 802.11 Planet.

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