Dr. Zaki Rakib, the colorful chief of cable modem and CMTS vendor Terayon Communication Systems, will resign his CEO post by Aug. 31.

Upon his resignation, Zaki Rakib will become company chairman, replacing his brother, Shlomo Rakib, Terayon's president and chief technology officer.

Terayon said its board has begun an internal and external search for a CEO successor. The company also announced the appointment of Howard "Skip" Speaks Jr. to Terayon's board of directors. He most recently served as president and CEO of Kyocera Wireless Corp.

"For the past 10 years, I have dedicated my time, my energy and my focus to Terayon, in large part at the expense of attention to my family," Zaki Rakib said, in a statement. "I have led Terayon through its phenomenal growth phase and through its survival of the telecommunication industry's recession to where it is now - back on the path to growth."

According to Gartner Dataquest figures, Terayon had 11.2 percent of the cable modem termination system (CMTS) market at the end of 2003, behind Cisco Systems (43.8 percent), ARRIS (21.8 percent) and Motorola Broadband. The research firm had Terayon in the fifth spot in terms of worldwide market share for DOCSIS cable modems at the end of last year.

"The issue right now is what Terayon will have to do to remain competitive," said Gartner Dataquest Principal Analyst Patti Reali, noting that DOCSIS CPE players are seeing more upside with embedded multimedia terminal adapters and cable modem gateways. She also sees Zaki Rakib transitioning to a more strategic role with Terayon.

The competition is no less furious in the CMTS space, where it's been difficult for vendors to differentiate and divvy up a market valued at $423 million at the end of 2003.

Although Terayon competes in a CMTS market full of bigger players, that market "has more legs than it did in the past, thanks to VoIP," Reali noted.