Ribbon Communications (RBBN) Hires New CFO And Signs 3 New Board Members

By Amit Chowdhry ● June 24, 2020
  • Real-time communications software and network solutions company Ribbon Communications Inc (NASDAQ: RBBN) announced it made some changes to its C-suite and board of directors this week

Real-time communications software and network solutions company Ribbon Communications Inc (NASDAQ: RBBN) announced it made some changes to its C-suite and board of directors this week.

Mick Lopez As EVP And CFO

Mick Lopez has been appointed as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial officer, effective Monday, June 29, 2020. Lopez is succeeding Daryl E. Raiford — who will be leaving the company after a short transition period.

“I am very excited to welcome Mick to the Ribbon leadership team as we continue to execute on our strategy to strengthen our portfolio and increase our presence with our global service provider and enterprise customers,” said Ribbon Communications Chief Executive Officer Bruce McClelland. “Mick has a strong track record as CFO of both public and privately held companies, successfully leading finance and operations organizations through significant transformations. His experience and leadership will be a great asset for the team as we continue our focus on improving long-term shareholder returns.”

Lopez most recently served as the CFO of Vista Outdoor, which is a leading global designer and manufacturer of outdoor sports and recreation consumer products. And he was instrumental in driving cost out of the business, executing on strategic portfolio divestitures, and reducing financial leverage with a low-cost scalable capital structure. Before joining Vista Outdoor, he served as the CFO at Veritas Technologies where he drove profitability improvements through portfolio and operational improvements. 

Before joining Veritas Technologies, he was the CFO for Harris Corporation where he played an instrumental role in reshaping the corporate strategy, which led to the $3 billion acquisition of Exelis.

Before 2011 to 2014, he was the CFO for Aricent Group/KKR Private Equity, where he drove initiatives focused on improving profitability, leverage position, and global tax structure. And earlier in his career, he gained valuable experience as Vice President, Finance at Cisco Systems, and Tyco International as well as international assignments with IBM and KPMG.

“I am thrilled to be joining Ribbon during this exciting period,” explained Lopez. “This is a pivotal time for the company, and the recent acquisition of ECI and the new leadership and energy Bruce is providing creates a clear path to growth. I am excited to be a part of these efforts and look forward to supporting the strategy.”

Raiford noted that it was a rewarding experience at Ribbon and he was proud of the company’s accomplishments over these 10 years.

“I’ve had a very rewarding experience at Ribbon, and I am immensely proud of our accomplishments over these 10 years. It has been an honor to work with such a talented team,” commented Raiford. “Ribbon is extremely well-positioned, and I leave the company operationally and financially strong with a great trajectory for its future.”

3 New Board Appointments

Ribbon Communications also announced it made three new appointments to the company board of directors. The three new directors include  Shaul Shani, Mariano de Beer, and Tanya Tamone — who joined the Ribbon Communications board of directors effective June 19, 2020.

Tamone and de Beer are independent directors and Shani is the chairman of Swarth Group, the lead investor in ECI Telecom.  And with the recent merger of Ribbon and ECI, the Swarth Group became a 17.8% shareholder of Ribbon Communications. Plus the new appointments were made in connection with the designation rights granted to the Swarth Group in conjunction with the merger.

Before the appointment of the three new directors: board members Richard Lynch, Kent Mathy, and Scott Schubert resigned effective June 18, 2020, as anticipated and described in the proxy materials for the Ribbon Communications 2020 annual shareholder meeting.

“The new additions to our board and the executive management team further pave the way for achieving the next level of growth,” stated McClelland. “I welcome new directors Mr. Shani, Mr. de Beer, and Ms. Tamone. Our three new directors add significant international communications and business experience and bring expanded board diversity. We are grateful for the leadership of our departing board members Dick, Kent, and Scott. Their collective contributions allowed us to grow and transform to where we are today and complete the recent ECI merger.”

Patrick Macken recently joined the company and has been appointed Executive Vice President (EVP) and Chief Legal Officer by the Board effective June 19, 2020. And Macken will lead the company’s global legal and compliance functions and serve as Corporate Secretary, succeeding Justin Ferguson — who will be leaving the organization to pursue other opportunities following a transition period.

“Patrick is a seasoned public company executive and we are excited to have him on board. He brings more than 20 years of relevant legal experience in the tech, media, and telecom sectors. I have had the pleasure of working directly with him for several years on a senior executive team, and I’m confident in his ability for a swift and impactful transition to the Ribbon team. I extend our appreciation to Justin Ferguson who will support Patrick in his transition and we wish Justin success as he pursues new opportunities,” noted McClelland.

Shani is the founder and Chairman of Swarth Group, a private global investment company investing in public and private companies primarily in the communication services, technology, IT, cyber, renewable energy and real estate sectors as well as financial markets.

And de Beer was Chief Commercial and Digital Officer of Telefonica S.A. from 2017 until 2019. Plus de Beer was also a member of the Telefonica Group Executive Committee. From 2013 to 2015, he was General Manager (President) of Microsoft in Brazil. And from 2015 to 2016, General Manager (President) of the multi-country Region Latam New Markets, responsible for several countries in South and Central America and the Caribbean. Previously, he was CEO of RBS Educação, part of the Brazilian conglomerate RBS Group. de Beer is a former consultant at McKinsey & Co. He graduated from UADE in Argentina and obtained an MBA from Georgetown University.

Tanya Tamone has held the position of CEO of Sogerco S.A., a private trust company, since 2007. And she has held a variety of senior positions at a number of private trust companies since 1996 and currently serves as a director for several privately held companies. Between 1985 to 1996, Ms. Tamone served as a trader for Bank Leu, Fuji Bank, and Cedef S.A in Switzerland, specializing in currency and interest trading.

Before joining Ribbon, Macken served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary of ARRIS Group Inc. — which was acquired by CommScope for $7.4 billion in 2019. Previously, Macken was a Partner in the corporate practice at Troutman Sanders LLP where he developed an expertise in securities law, M&A, and corporate governance. Patrick holds a B.A. from Tulane University and received his J.D, Magna Cum Laude, from Tulane Law School where he was a member of the Order of the Coif.