JDS shuffles executives, shifts head office

While it had previously maintained two head offices – one in Ottawa and another in San Jose – JDS Uniphase announced on Thursday that it will consolidate its head office operations to the San Jose location.

The office in Ottawa will continue to operate, but will no longer retain the status of co-head office, said Ottawa-based JDS spokesperson Lori Goulet.

The announcement coincided with the retirement of the company’s CEO and co-chairman. Jozef Straus, who has been with the fibre-optics firm for 22 years, will retain his position on the board of directors and will assume the role of founder emeritus and advisor to the CEO effective Sept. 1, Goulet said.

“He will still be coming into the Ottawa office on a daily basis,” Goulet said, adding that Straus’ decision to step down as CEO had a lot to do with timing – JDS has just begun a new fiscal year.

“Now that our CEO will be based in San Jose, and the entire corporate executive team will be located there, it made sense to just make San Jose our headquarters,” Goulet said. “It actually doesn’t have an impact on the Ottawa operations in terms of staffing levels.”

The Ottawa location has 580 employees. There were no layoffs announced Thursday as a result of the executive reshuffle, Goulet said, adding that the Ottawa site is still in a strong position and plays a critical role to the company.

Stepping up to the JDS helm, filling the shoes of CEO, will be current member of the board of directors, Kevin Kennedy.

“He’s quite intimately familiar with the company which is a great benefit in terms of the transition,” Goulet explained.

In addition to Straus’ retirement, Syrus Madavi, director, president and chief operating officer, has announced his departure from the company to pursue future opportunities outside of the company.

Madvai had been with JDS for one year and had helped “put the company on solid footing in a time of transformation,” Goulet said. He will stay on throughout the transition and then will pursue other opportunities outside of JDS.

The company isn’t overly concerned about the executive shuffle and is certain that continuity at JDS will persevere, despite the changes in title in upper management, Goulet said.

“If you look at the last couple years of our company, there’s been a tremendous amount of change,” she said. “We work in a dynamic industry so change has always been present – it’s something that we’ve always dealt with and adapted to.”

JDS Uniphase is online at www.jdsu.com.