Cisco exec joins router start-up

Start-up router company Procket Networks Inc. has hired the chief technology officer of Cisco Systems Inc.'s service provider group to be its president and chief executive officer.

Roland Arca takes over as CEO of Milpitas, Calif.-based Procket Networks effective immediately. Procket Networks competes with San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco and Juniper Networks Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif. to sell the high-end routers that move data across networks. According to analysts, the hire brings instant credibility to the new firm, which has been without a CEO since June 2003.

"In addition to taking Procket to the next level of its development, we expect Roland to play a key industry leadership role in the movement towards IP at the core of networks for telecommunications and data services," said Stuart Phillips, who sits on Procket Networks' board of directors.

Arca's hire is the latest event in what is shaping up to be a new era of competition in the network router market, which traditionally has been dominated by Cisco.

In December, Juniper Networks created its Juniper Federal Systems division to better pursue government IT contracts. The company immediately won a high-profile contract from San Diego-based Science Applications International Corp. to provide router equipment for the $877 million Global Information Grid-Bandwidth expansion program.

Privately held Procket Networks employs about 250 people worldwide.

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