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Avici Ousts CEO

Avici Systems , a core router maker competing with Cisco and Juniper , said its board has voted out CEO Steve Kaufman.

William Leighton, a current director who spent 27 years at AT&T , will lead the company until a permanent replacement is found.

"The board's decision was prompted by the rapidly changing landscape in the telecommunications equipment business," said Surya Panditi, chairman of the board, in a statement.

Panditi praised Leighton for accepting the role "under difficult circumstances" and said the interim CEO's background in research and design of IP networks will be an asset. An Avici spokesperson was not immediately available to discuss the search process.

Avici recently posted disappointing third-quarter revenue figures that will cause it to miss its 2004 revenue growth targets.

The North Billerica, Mass., company blamed the shortfall on "delays in anticipated network build outs and timing of expected orders." AT&T is among Avici's major customers. Nortel also resells Avici gear.

Kaufman joined Avici in late 2000 as COO from Lucent . He was named president in January 2001 and promoted to CEO six months later.

Prior to Lucent, he worked at Intel where he held a variety of marketing management roles on the Pentium processor family of products.