Two Ex-Cisco Sales Execs Head To Harmonic

Two former Cisco Systems sales executives – Frank Montalto and Spencer Hodson – have joined Harmonic Inc., a vendor that tangles with Cisco in cable access gear market and product categories such as edge QAMs and the emerging Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP).

Montalto, a 15-year Cisco vet who most recently served as director of sales operations for Cisco’s North American MSO division, has been named Harmonic’s regional vice president for North American cable and telco.

Hodson, meanwhile, was named VP of sales strategy, operations and enablement at Harmonic. Hodson, another long-time Cisco exec, most recently served as director of sales strategy and operations for Cisco’s worldwide information security business.

"Both Spencer and Frank have industry experience that is essential for implementing our strategy for driving additional revenue opportunities within the broadcast, cable, satellite, telco, and media markets," said George Stromeyer, senior vice president, worldwide sales at Harmonic, in a statement.

They join Harmonic as the company moves aggressively on a strategy centered on CCAP, a dense, space- and power-saving platform that will combine the functions of the edge QAM and the cable modem termination system and put all cable services on the same platform. Harmonic recently announced its first multi-million dollar order for the NSG Pro, a CCAP-pointing product that is starting off as a downstream-only, dense edge QAM before adding upstream and CMTS components down the road.

In addition to Cisco, Harmonic will compete in the CCAP market with Arris Group, CommScope, Casa Systems and Gainspeed, a startup that is developing a virtualized form of CCAP from scratch and recently landed a “B” round of funding led by Juniper Strategic Investments.

Montalto and Hodson also head to Harmonic as Cisco undergoes several changes, including a reorganization that will result in the elimination of about 4,000 jobs, or 5% of the company’s global workforce, and a recent decision to divided its service provider business into two units.