JDS Uniphase Founder and CEO Stepping Down

Jozef Straus, the beret-wearing chief executive officer and co-chairman
of optical networking company JDS Uniphase is retiring
from the company he helped create, the company said Thursday.

Kevin Kennedy, currently a member of the company’s board of directors,
has been picked to succeed Straus, who announced he would retire as of
Sept. 1. Syrus Madavi, president and chief operating officer of
the company, also plans to exit the company after the new CEO has
transitioned into the new role. Madavi had been recruited to help with the
company’s turnaround plan after it ran into the red during the technology
recession. The company said it did not expect to fill the COO role.

The changes at the top come after a rough two years for the maker of
optical networking and telecommunications gear, which once held the dubious
honor of posting the largest annual loss in corporate history — more than
$56 billion in 2001. Much of the loss was from acquisitions that had
lost their value after the market meltdown hit the sector in 2000.

The company lost $934 million during fiscal 2003.

Straus has been with the company for 20 years since he launched JDS Fitel
in 1981, which eventually became part of JDS Uniphase. He was named CEO in
2000.

Although Straus is retiring as CEO, he is expected to retain a position
on the board of directors and assume the roles of Founder Emeritus and
Advisor to the CEO. In addition to those changes, the company said it would
consolidate its corporate headquarters in San Jose as part of its ongoing
restructuring. Since the market for telecommunications equipment imploded
during the past two years, the company, which had co-headquarters in San
Jose and Ottawa, Canada, has been closing plants and shedding workers.

Kennedy comes to the position as next CEO after serving as a member of
the company’s board of directors. Prior to joining the board, he was chief
operating officer of software and programming company Openwave Systems
.

Prior to joining Openwave in 2001, Kennedy was with Cisco for seven
years. He also worked at Bell Labs for 17 years.

Shares of JDSU were up by about 9 percent to $3.48 after the
announcement.

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