Ex-Ascend Honchos Launch Zhone

While Lucent Technologies may have acquired Ascend Communications' extensive product line and impressive customer base with its $24 billion purchase of the company earlier this year, the telecommunications giant could not secure the services of the key executives responsible for much of Ascend's success.

While Lucent Technologies may have acquired Ascend Communications' extensive product line and impressive customer base with its $24 billion purchase of the company earlier this year, the telecommunications giant could not secure the services of the key executives responsible for much of Ascend's success.

Those executives - Ascend chief executive Mory Ejabat, chief technology officer Jeanette Symons and chief financial officer Robert Dahl - have teamed up again at Zhone Technologies, a recently formed start-up based in Oakland, Calif. According to information found on the company's Web site, Zhone will focus on delivering products and software for the construction of next-generation networks built to deliver voice, data and video traffic.

The trio of executives will assume the same roles at the start-up as they held at Ascend, according to Zhone's Web site.

Other than hanging out its shingle in cyberspace earlier this month, little is known about the new company. The Wall Street Journal reported this week that the company plans to raise more than $500 million in early-round funding, an incredible figure even by today's standards. With that kind of seeding, Zhone could conceivably assemble its initial product line through acquisition, a strategy that also defies the typical start-up profile.

Officials at Zhone could not be reached to discuss the company's plans.

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