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Harney takes helm at broadband start-up

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 3:16pm
Brian Santo

INovo Broadband has hired former Cisco Systems executive Michael Harney as CEO. He’ll be reunited with a large handful of other veterans of the old Scientific Atlanta (acquired by Cisco) at the broadband customer premises equipment (CPE) start-up.

Former N2 Broadband CEO Jack Miller is iNovo Broadband’s COO. Another former N2 exec, David Nicholas, is vice president and general manager of North America; Nicholas was most recently a group vice president at Panasonic. Once past those two, though, iNovo Broadband is practically Cisco West.

Himanshu Parikh, previously a general manager at Cisco/Scientific Atlanta, is CTO; veteran Cisco engineer Ajith Nair is vice president of engineering; former Cisco vice president Douglas Woodhead is principal architect; former Cisco director of strategy and product management Jim Kiker is vice president of product management; and former Cisco exec Jesse Still is vice president of operations. Former Cisco exec Benny Hsu is vice president of manufacturing partners, former Cisco and Arris exec Roshan D'Souza is vice president and general manager of the Asia Pacific region, and former Cisco exec Fernando Mechetti is vice president of sales for the Latin America region.

Another prominent name is associated with iNovo, as well; Chris Bowick, longtime CTO of Cox Communications, is a member of the advisory board.

Financial analysts have been questioning Cisco’s commitment to CPE for some time. Meanwhile, since Google’s acquisition of Motorola for its patent portfolio, questions have been swirling about whether Google intends to keep Motorola’s cable equipment operation.

That so many executives formerly with Cisco/SA have banded to establish a competitor in the same product space will ensure that those questions continue to be asked.

iNovo Broadband has announced little about its operations beyond its product portfolio, though Hsu’s title implies that iNovo will be following the common business model of designing products but farming out their construction to contract manufacturers.

The company's products include cable modems and gateways, cable DTAs and set-tops, satellite set-tops, and IPTV set-tops.

Harney recently led Cisco's Service Provider Video Technology Group, responsible for set-top boxes, voice and data terminals, media distribution systems, and IPTV devices.

"Bringing new technologies to market successfully demands an intimate understanding of the installed base," remarked Harney, noting that iNovo's core technical group made substantial contributions to nearly every major breakthrough in the digital era. And while standardization now affords service providers more CPE choices than ever before, "there is always room for suppliers who can execute, and this team has proven that they can."

"Michael has long been one of the most respected executives in the cable television industry," said Bowick, president of the Bowick Group. "His addition to their existing strong team further establishes iNovo as a credible alternative to legacy suppliers."

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