Werner Takes Helm at Optical Start-Up

Former AT&T Broadband chief technology officer Tony Werner will remain in the broadband industry in a big way.

Aurora Networks, a technology start-up headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., said it has selected Werner as its president and CEO. Guy Sucharczuk, Aurora's former president and CEO, will become the company's chairman and chief operating officer.

Several companies, including Qwest Communications International Inc., were believed to be wooing the well-regarded longtime cable-industry executive.

Werner-who worked at Tele-Communications Inc.before AT&T Corp. bought the MSO-left AT&T Broadband on Oct. 13. During his tenure, Werner spearheaded the technical aspects of the MSO's digital-cable, high-speed data and cable-telephony launches. He also spent part of his engineering career at Canadian MSO Rogers Cable Inc.

Greg Braden, a former U S West and MediaOne Group Inc. engineering executive, assumed Werner's post Oct. 1 and now serves as executive vice president of engineering and telephony operations.

Werner's cable connections should come in handy for Aurora, which designs and develops optical-transport systems designed to boost the bandwidth of two-way broadband networks outfitted for converged voice, video and data applications and services. Aurora plans to market its technology to cable.

Aurora, which was founded in November 1999, said in June it had received $10 million in series-A funding from Battery Ventures.

Werner, who helped develop "Dual Ring Star Bus" and "LightWire" network architecture for TCI and AT&T Broadband, said in a statement that the thirst for bandwidth is fueling the growth of the network-construction market.

"The opportunities are immense," he said. "This is an exciting time to be leading in technology development, and the Aurora Networks team is poised at the forefront of optical and fiber innovation."

Werner will be based in Aurora's planned Denver-area sales office, but will spend "the majority of his time" in Santa Clara, the company said.

"Tony's addition to the Aurora Networks team brings a new level of expertise and leadership to our company," Sucharczuk said in a press release.

Werner was the recipient of the National Cable Television Association's 2000 Vanguard Award for Science and Technology. He currently serves as chairman of Cable Television Laboratories Inc.'s Enhanced Services Deployment Working Group.