James R. Carreker Distinguished Lecture

Event Details
  • Date/Time:
    • Thursday March 8, 2012 - Friday March 9, 2012
      10:00 am - 10:59 am
  • Location: Van Leer Building Auditorium
  • Phone:
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Deborah Milliner

School of Electrical and Computer Engineering




Summary Sentence: Gary B. Smith, president and CEO of Ciena, will give a lecture on "Navigating Change."

Full Summary: Gary B. Smith, president and CEO of Ciena, will present the 2012 James R. Carreker Distinguished Lecture on Thursday, March 8 at 11 am in the Van Leer Building Auditorium. The topic of his lecture will be "Navigating Change." A reception will be held after the lecture takes place.

  • Gary B. Smith Gary B. Smith

Lecture Abstract – Navigating Change

The last decade in telecom has been nothing short of turbulent, particularly given the industry’s position at the forefront of two powerful dislocating drivers of historical structural change – the Internet and Globalization. Gary Smith, president and CEO of Ciena, will share his experiences in dramatically transforming his company against this backdrop, including through periods of economic turmoil and industry consolidation. 

Twice, Ciena’s value plummeted faster and farther than most other companies’ in other sectors, but today it boasts multiple #1 positions in its markets. Leveraging his sales and marketing acumen and an unwavering belief that his small company could be a disruption in the market, Mr. Smith has led Ciena through some intense economic challenges by taking substantial, calculated risks to establish a well-positioned platform for growth.

Speaker Bio

Gary B. Smith is president and CEO of Ciena, a global leader in next-generation telecommunications infrastructure that enables high-capacity, intelligent networks. Under Mr. Smith's leadership, Ciena has grown from approximately $300 million in annual revenue to nearly $2 billion in annual revenue run rate, with #1 market share in next-generation optical networking in North America and #3 market share worldwide. As one of the fastest-growing companies in the sector since 2001, Ciena's 4,000+ employees serve more than 1,000 customers, including many of the world's largest telecommunications service providers and cable operators, governments, and enterprises. In 2011, recognizing Ciena's depth of experience and influence in the industry, President Obama appointed Mr. Smith to the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC).

A citizen of both the U.S. and the UK, Mr. Smith has lived on three continents and worked extensively on six. Prior to joining Ciena in 1997 to launch its international business, and leading Worldwide Sales before becoming Chief Operating Officer in 1999 and CEO in 2001, Mr. Smith served as vice president for Sales and Marketing at Intelsat, the world's leading provider of fixed satellite services; and he served in senior marketing roles at three UK-based data solutions companies.

Mr. Smith is also lead outside director for CommVault Systems, Inc.; a member of the Board of Directors at Avaya, Inc.; a commissioner of the Global Information Infrastructure Commission; a 'Broadband Ambassador' for the Internet Innovation Alliance; and participates in initiatives with the Center for Corporate Innovation. Mr. Smith also previously served as a Board member at the American Electronics Association (now TechAmerica).

Mr. Smith earned an MBA from Ashridge Management College in the UK. He is an avid runner, mountain biker, and tennis and squash player.  He lives in Maryland with his wife and two children.

A reception will be held after the lecture takes place.

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  • Created By: Jackie Nemeth
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Feb 8, 2012 - 1:30pm
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 9:58pm