CENX names Herb Hribar as new CEO, reveals strategic investors

CENX has named Herb Hribar as the company's new CEO, a wireline and wireless industry veteran known for his ability to take companies public.

Hribar's resume includes a trio successful COO domestic and international stints helping to lead both Verio (acquired by NTT (NYSE: NTT) for $5.5 billion in 2000), Switzerland's Cablecom (acquired by Liberty Global for $3.6 billion in 2005) through profitable acquisitions and taking Germany's largest cable operator Kabel Deutschland through a $6.5 billion IPO in 2010.

Prior to his string of COO posts, Hribar's executive career began as the president of the former Ameritech Wireless and General Manager of Sprint International (NYSE: S) for Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Hribar's experience on the international front and IPO experience could come in handy for CENX as it continues to expand its presence through partners and organically. Stopping short of saying they had plans to take CENX public, Nan Chen, co-founder and President of CENX said in an interview with FierceTelecom that "Herb's domestic and international experience as well both the wireless and wireline in combination with his cable experience is exactly what we were looking for," adding that "I could not think of a more qualified individual to lead us."

This is the second CEO CENX has hired in the last six months, with its most recent CEO Sandy Brown, an AT&T (NYSE: T) Ethernet pioneer, having recently resigned from the company.

Nan Chen would not comment on Brown's departure other than to say that "Sandy resigned last month because he felt the work situation was not a good fit for him and we appreciated his contributions."

When asked why he joined CENX now, Hribar revealed he believes the Ethernet exchange can simplify the buying and selling process for service providers trying to expand their off-net Ethernet capabilities.

"It makes so much sense because it's so hard to put these circuits together and it's so difficult to drive interconnection and to try to find a partner that can complete a circuit," he said. "The idea of an Ethernet exchange is brilliant because it allows the carriers to be very efficient, to be very effective and just realize tremendous value from a powerful idea."

So what does Hribar see next for the company?

Being still fresh to the job, Hribar said that what he's "focused on will be driving value for our customers and international is table stakes for this kind of business, adding that "what I am hoping to do is bring everything together, drive profitable growth in the business and then provide an environment for our people that allows them to grow in their leadership and technological capabilities."

In addition to bringing aboard Hribar, CENX finally revealed its investors, which includes a group that were key in taking now famous telecom vendors and service providers public.

Among CENX's investors are DCM, whose co-founder Dixon Doll created companies such as Foundry Networks, UUNET and Neutral Tandem; Highland Capital Partners, whose General Partner Sean Dalton was a director of wireless packet core vendor Starent Networks before being acquired by Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) for $2.9 billion; and Mesirow Financial.

For more:
- see the release

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