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Finisar CEO Eitan Gertel steps down

Optical components company Finisar has announced that its board of directors has accepted the resignation of chief executive officer and director Eitan Gertel. No reason was given for his departure.

Jerry Rawls, the company's executive chairman and principal executive, will assume the title of chief executive officer, a position he previously held from 1999 to 2008.

“Since joining the company in 2008 in connection with the Optium merger, Eitan has played an important role in Finisar's success as the world's largest supplier of optical transceivers and subsystems,” said Rawls. “We appreciate Eitan's leadership and the important strategic initiatives he has driven for the company.”

The news came as the company reported its latest quarterly earnings. For its first quarter of fiscal 2016, ended 2 August 2015, Finisar reported revenues of $314 million compared to $320 million in the prior quarter.

The revenue dip had a knock-on effect with a reduction in operating income on a generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) basis, to reach $7.1 million in the quarter compared to $10.3 million in the preceding quarter.

The company explained the difference as the effect of an additional week in the period of the prior quarter. “Taking that into consideration, the first fiscal quarter had a higher average weekly revenue relative to the prior quarter,” said Rawls.

“Strength in revenue was primarily driven by 40 gigabit transceivers for datacom applications,” he added.

The 40G products currently make up about one quarter of the datacom business, the company revealed. Overall sales of products for datacom applications were down $8.7 million, or 3.6 per cent, compared to the preceding quarter.

Despite the short quarter, sales of products for telecom applications – such as 100G coherent transceivers and reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexers (ROADMs) – increased by $2.7 million, or 3.4 per cent, compared to the preceding quarter.

Nevertheless, stocks tumbled on the news of Gertel’s departure falling more than 18 per cent during Friday morning trading from the previous close of $14.91.

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