Infinera Strengthens Executive Leadership Team

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Infinera has announced new executive appointments to strengthen its leadership team as it further aligns its business to maximize market opportunities in the new era of open optical networking.

“The shift to open optical networks represents an unprecedented opportunity for Infinera with our differentiated, high-performance solutions and vertically integrated capabilities,” said David Heard, Infinera CEO. “I’m thrilled to welcome these talented industry veterans to our team as we strategically align the organization to scale and accelerate toward the next phase of Infinera’s growth and innovation.”


The company has announced the following executive appointments:

Ron Johnson, General Manager of Optical Systems & Network Solutions Group – responsible for driving Infinera’s growth in open optical systems and software as networks move to 800G in the core, 400G in the metro, and 100G coherent to the edge. A passionate leader, Ron will bring exceptionally deep optical and IP networking experience and expertise to his role, which he will assume in September. Most recently, Ron served as head of Product Management at Cisco’s Optical Transport Business Unit.

Tom Burns, General Manager of Optical Modules & Coherent Solutions Group – responsible for Infinera’s optical modules and coherent solutions, including the company’s industry-leading ICE optical engines and its recently announced suite of ICE-XR optical pluggables. Leveraging a distinguished history of achievements at Dell Technologies, where he managed a multi-billion-dollar networking and solutions business, Tom will bring to his new Infinera role a strong focus on execution and a wealth of experience, including new market development and ecosystem partnerships. Also joining the company in September, Tom will partner with co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer Dave Welch to capitalize on the growth opportunity of game-changing XR optics point-to-multipoint optical connectivity.

Azmina Somani, Senior Vice President of Engineering, Optical Modules & Coherent Solutions Group – responsible for optical modules and coherent solutions engineering. Azmina brings to her role over 30 years of experience and expertise in the optical components industry, with executive leadership positions at industry leaders that include Jabil, Lumentum, JDSU, and Nortel. In addition to her deep technical knowledge and exceptional leadership skills, Azmina has a proven track record of developing and delivering state-of-the-art subsystems and modules to the market at high volume, critical to Infinera’s pluggables strategy.

Russ Esmacher, Senior Vice President of Strategy – responsible for strategy, marketing, and corporate development in leading the company’s strategic planning processes and executing plans to achieve market share gains and the company’s target business model. Russ brings to his role over 20 years of experience in go-to-market programs, sales leadership, business development, and technical marketing, including prior executive positions at Nokia and Cisco.