FierceTelecom Leaders: Kevin DeNuccio, President and CEO of MetaSwitch

After making the former Redback (now Ericsson) and Cisco's service provider group household names in the telecom industry, Kevin DeNuccio, formally joined next-gen voice switching vendor MetaSwitch as the company's president and CEO last week. After serving on the company's board since 2008, DeNuccio takes over the reins from John Lazar, who became MetaSwitch's board chairman. We caught up with DeNuccio to talk about his first few days on the job and how he will expand the company's well-entrenched customer and product base.

FierceTelecom: You've headed up a number of ventures from early startup mode to become much bigger companies with major revenues. As a board member since last December, what motivated you to finally join MetaSwitch's team?
DeNuccio: What I think is happening in the market. I feel that the movement to the mobile Internet and the all IP network, what social networking will do to that environment along with smart phones along with IP and voice together make Metaswitch a pretty attractive company because the engineering depth that we have already. Based on what I see happening in the market, it makes the company uniquely positioned to capitalize on most of those trend.

From a competitive standpoint, the market is in a bit of turmoil consolidating under a few big vendors, including Ericsson, Cisco and Huawei each with their own slant on the world. Most of the other vendors are struggling to figure out how to offset a series of declining revenue streams and making it through the transition I think is going to be very challenging. I think the reality of a Nortel situation is what many of them might face because it's such a difficult job to make it through these types of transitions.

When I look at the trends, I think the market needs someone to emerge as an innovator to drive the convergence of all these things. This company is well positioned to do that because it has a financial foundation that's unique in the industry: 25 years of growth and profitability and a broad base of customers. The customer base is not concentrated with any one or two tier ones that would make us subsequent to the ups and downs that the industry really sees. I feel like we're on the cusp of the ability to accelerate our growth as the recession subsides. So as we looked at where the company needed to go John and I forged a great relationship and we came to the same conclusion to add me to the company and not loose John--we could be a powerful force in expanding the strategy globally.

FierceTelecom: What are the key components of this new opportunity you're are laying out to tackle these emerging opportunities?
DeNuccio: Given my background at Cisco and Redback, one of the things I cherished the most was deep IP engineering expertise. That's very rare at large scale. I think what we have is a very unique IP house from an engineering capability and product set. I think marrying that to the leadership that we created with VoIP and Class 5 replacement, I think the engineering power will be great to capitalize on.

Click here for part II of the interview