Leadership: Meet the Infinera Team - Infinera Open Optical
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Our Leadership Team


Our executive leadership team and board of directors bring decades of experience in the networking and technology industries and a broad range of qualifications and skills that are helping us redefine transport networks for a new generation of connectivity services.

David Heard


David F. Welch, Ph.D.


Nancy Erba

Nick Walden

Nick Walden


Tom Burns


Ron Johnson

Russ Esmacher image

Russ Esmacher


Alex Derecho


Robert Shore

Craig Cocchi

Craig Cocchi


Greg Greco


Brett Hooper


David Teichmann

Jim Henderson

Jim Henderson, Jr.



George Riedel
Chairman of the Board
George Riedel has been a member of our Board of Directors since June 2020 and has served as Chairman of our Board of Directors since November 2020. Mr. Riedel has served as a Senior Lecturer in the General Management Unit at Harvard Business School since 2017. From 2014 to 2017, Mr. Riedel served as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CloudMark, Inc., a cybersecurity company, overseeing the company’s sale to Proofpoint, Inc. in 2017. From 2006 to 2011, Mr. Riedel served in executive leadership roles at Nortel Networks Corporation, a Canadian telecommunications and data networking equipment manufacturing company, including Chief Strategy Officer and Vice President of Business Units. From 2003 to 2006, Mr. Riedel served as Vice President of Strategy and M&A at Juniper Networks, a networking and cybersecurity company. From 1987 to 2003, Mr. Riedel worked at McKinsey & Company, including as a senior partner. Mr. Riedel has served as an independent director at Xperi Corporation, a technology company, since 2013 and Cerner Corporation, a health information technology company, since April 2019. Between 2010 to 2017, Mr. Riedel also served on various boards, including as Chairman of Accedian Networks Inc., a Canadian network communications software company, and as a director for PeerApp Ltd., a caching solution provider, and NextDocs Corporation, a compliance innovation company (acquired by Aurea Software, Inc.).

Mr. Riedel received a BS with distinction in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Virginia and an MBA from Harvard Business School.



Christine Bucklin
Christine Bucklin has been a member of our Board of Directors since June 2020. Ms. Bucklin served as Managing Director, Operations Group at Gryphon Investors, Inc., a private equity firm, from 2015 to 2018. From 2008 to 2010, Ms. Bucklin served as Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategic Planning at Sun Microsystems, Inc., a technology company, prior to its acquisition by Oracle Corporation in 2010. From 1999 to 2007, Ms. Bucklin served as Chief Operating Officer of Internet Brands, Inc., an internet media company. From 1988 to 1999, Ms. Bucklin worked at McKinsey & Company, a consulting company, including as a partner. From 2011 to 2019, Ms. Bucklin served as a director for Local Media San Diego, LLC, a radio station and event company. From 2015 to 2018, Ms. Bucklin served as a director for Leadership Platform Acquisition Corporation, a portfolio company of Gryphon Investors related to educational services.

Ms. Bucklin received an AB in Mathematics from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Stanford Business School.



Gregory P. Dougherty
Greg Dougherty has been a member of our Board of Directors since January 2019. Mr. Dougherty served as Chief Executive Officer of Oclaro from June 2013 until its acquisition by Lumentum in December 2018. Mr. Dougherty also served as a director of Oclaro from April 2009 until the completion of the sale in December 2018. Prior to Oclaro, Mr. Dougherty served as a director of Avanex Corporation, a leading global provider of intelligent photonic solutions, from April 2005 to April 2009, when Avanex and Bookham merged to become Oclaro. Mr. Dougherty also served as a director of Picarro, Inc., a manufacturer of ultra-sensitive gas spectroscopy equipment using laser-based technology, from October 2002 to August 2013, and as its Interim Chief Executive Officer from January 2003 to April 2004. Earlier in his career, Mr. Dougherty served as the Chief Operating Officer at SDL from 1997 to 2001, when the company was acquired by JDS Uniphase Corporation, where he continued in the role until 2002. From 1989 to 1997, Mr. Dougherty was the Director of Product Management and Marketing at Lucent Technologies Microelectronics in the Optoelectronics Strategic Business Unit.

He also served as a board member of the Ronald McDonald House at Stanford from January 2004 to December 2009, and the Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation. Mr. Dougherty currently serves on the board of directors of IPG Photonics Corporation, a fiber laser manufacturer, and Fabrinet, an optical, electro-mechanical and electronic manufacturing services company. Mr. Dougherty received a B.Sc. in Optics in 1983 from the University of Rochester.



Thomas J. Fallon
Tom Fallon has been a member of our Board of Directors since July 2009. Mr. Fallon also served as our CEO from January 2010 to November 2020 and as Advisor from November 2020 to February 2021, as our President from January 2010 to June 2013, and as our Chief Operating Officer from October 2006 to December 2009. From April 2004 to September 2006, Mr. Fallon served as our Vice President of Engineering and Operations. From August 2003 to March 2004, Mr. Fallon was Vice President, Corporate Quality and Development Operations at Cisco. From March 1991 to August 2003, Mr. Fallon served in a variety of functions at Cisco, including General Manager of the Optical Transport Business Unit and Vice President of Service Provider Manufacturing. Prior to joining Cisco, Mr. Fallon also served in various manufacturing roles at Sun Microsystems and Hewlett Packard.

Mr. Fallon currently serves on the boards of directors of Hercules Capital, Inc., a specialty finance company, and the Engineering Advisory Board of the Cockrell School at the University of Texas. Mr. Fallon holds B.S.M.E. and MBA degrees from the University of Texas at Austin.



Marcel Gani
Marcel Gani has been a member of our Board of Directors since June 2014. Mr. Gani has been an independent consultant since 2009. His previous experience includes Lecturer in Accounting and Finance at the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University, and multiple roles at Juniper Networks, Inc., including Chief of Staff from January 2005 to March 2006 and Executive Vice President and CFO from February 1997 to December 2004. Prior to Juniper, Mr. Gani served as Vice President and CFO of NVIDIA Corporation from February 1996 to February 1997. Mr. Gani also served as CFO of Grand Junction Networks, Primary Access Corporation and NeXT Computer, Inc. Mr. Gani currently serves on the board of directors of SolarEdge Technologies, Inc., a power optimizer solutions company.

Mr. Gani holds a B.S. in Applied Mathematics from Ecole Polytechnique Federal, Lausanne Switzerland, and an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan.



David Heard
Chief Executive Officer and Director
David Heard has served as our CEO and has been a member of our Board of Directors since November 2020. Mr. Heard joined Infinera in June 2017 and served as our Chief Operating Officer from October 2018 to November 2020. During his time as COO, Mr. Heard was responsible for leading the innovation of new solutions and the overall operational excellence of the company, overseeing functions including corporate development, facilities, human resources, information technology, marketing, operations, product lifecycle management, quality, research and development and services. Mr. Heard brings a proven track record of technology industry leadership, with more than 25 years of success in the industry. Prior to Infinera, Mr. Heard served as President of Network and Service Enablement at JDS Uniphase from 2010 to 2015, and as COO at BigBand Networks (now Arris) from 2007 to 2010. Earlier roles included President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Somera (now Jabil), President and General Manager, Switching Division, at Tekelec (now Oracle), President and CEO at Santera Systems, and various positions at Lucent Technologies and AT&T.

Mr. Heard holds a B.A. in Production and Operations Management from Ohio State University, an MBA from the University of Dayton and an M.S. in Management from Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he was a Sloan Fellow.



Sharon E. Holt
Sharon Holt has been a member of our Board of Directors since June 2019. Ms. Holt has served as a Principal at Fraser Stuart Ventures, LLC, a private investment and advisory firm, since 2016. Since 2012, she has served as an advisor to several technology companies. Since August 2018, she has served as chairman of the board of Immersion Corporation, a publicly traded developer of haptics technology for cell phones and other devices, having joined its board in August 2016. Ms. Holt was a senior executive at Rambus Inc., a leading technology development and licensing company, from 2004 to 2012, where she served as Senior Vice President of Sales, Licensing and Marketing, and Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Semiconductor Business Group. From 1999 to 2004, Ms. Holt was an executive at Agilent Technologies in the Semiconductor Products Group (now Broadcom), where her last position was Vice President & General Manager of Americas Field Operations, overseeing sales and technical support operations for the semiconductor business, including ASICs, ASSPs, optical and wireless ICs. Prior to that, she ran sales operations focused on Agilent’s largest global customers. From 1986 to 1999, Ms. Holt worked at HP in Applications Engineering, Sales and Distribution Channel Management for the Semiconductor Products Group.

Ms. Holt received a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech).



Kambiz Y. Hooshmand
Kambiz Hooshmand has been a member of our Board of Directors since December 2009 and served as Chairman of our Board of Directors from October 2010 to November 2020. From March 2005 to May 2009, Mr. Hooshmand served as President and CEO of Applied Micro Circuits Corporation, a communications solutions company. From March 2000 to February 2002, Mr. Hooshmand served as Vice President and Division General Manager of the DSL Business Unit of Cisco. From February 2002 to March 2005, Mr. Hooshmand also served as Group Vice President and General Manager of Cisco. From June 1997 to February 2000, Mr. Hooshmand served as Cisco’s Vice President of Engineering. From January 1992 to June 1997, Mr. Hooshmand served as Director of Engineering of StrataCom, Inc., a networking solutions company.

Mr. Hooshmand holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from California State University, Chico and an M.S. in Engineering from Stanford University.



Paul J. Milbury
Paul Milbury has been a member of our Board of Directors since July 2010. Mr. Milbury currently serves as Chair of Infinera’s Audit Committee and as a member of the Compensation Committee. Mr. Milbury served as Vice President of Operations and CFO of Starent Networks Corp., a provider of mobile network solutions, from January 2007 until its acquisition by Cisco in 2009. From December 2009 to July 2010, he played a key role in integrating Starent Networks into Cisco to create the Mobile Internet Technology Group. From December 2000 to March 2007, Mr. Milbury served as Vice President and CFO of Avid Technology, Inc., a digital media creation, management, and distribution solutions company. Mr. Milbury previously served as audit committee chair for public companies Gigamon, Inc., a provider of network traffic visibility solutions and Aerohive Networks, a pioneer in cloud-managed WLAN . He also currently serves on several private company boards.

Mr. Milbury holds a B.B.A. in Business and Economics and an M.B.A. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.



Amy H. Rice
Amy H. Rice has been a member of our Board of Directors since April 2020. Ms. Rice is a Managing Director with Oaktree’s Special Situations Group and has been with the firm since 2009. Prior to joining Oaktree, Ms. Rice spent two years as an associate at Lindsay Goldberg, LLC, and before that, she spent two years as an analyst in the Leveraged Finance group at Deutsche Bank.

Ms. Rice has an A.B. from Harvard College and an M.B.A. from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.



Mark A. Wegleitner
Mark Wegleitner has been a member of our Board of Directors since May 2011. From September 2007 until his retirement in July 2010, Mr. Wegleitner served as the Senior Vice President, Technology, for Verizon Communications Inc., a telecommunications company, where his responsibilities included technology assessment, network architecture, platform development and laboratory testing for wireline and wireless communications networks. From July 2000 to September 2007, he served as Chief Technology Officer for Verizon, with responsibility for wireline communications technologies. Prior to the creation of Verizon, Mr. Wegleitner held various positions in the Network Services division of Bell Atlantic, a telecommunications company, including Chief Technology Officer from January 1999 to July 2000. Prior to joining Bell Atlantic, he worked at Bell Laboratories and AT&T General Departments.

Mr. Wegleitner holds a B.A. in Mathematics from St. John’s University and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley.



David F. Welch, Ph.D.
Founder, Chief Innovation Officer, and Director
David F. Welch, Ph.D., is Founder and Chief Innovation Officer at Infinera, a role he has held since October 2018. In this role, he drives deep business and technology innovation through forward-looking strategies, including breakthrough technologies and technology partnerships, in addition to innovative business and market directions. Dr. Welch is currently a member of Infinera’s Board of Directors, where he has served the company since 2010. Dr. Welch’s past roles at Infinera include Chief Strategy and Technology Officer from 2017 to 2018, President from 2013 to 2017, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer from 2004 to 2013 and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) from 2001 to 2004. Prior to co-founding Infinera, he served as CTO, Transmission Division at JDS Uniphase, and in various executive roles, including CTO and Vice President of Corporate Development, at Spectra Diode Labs (SDL).

Dr. Welch currently serves on the Board of Directors of several start-up companies. He holds over 130 patents and has authored over 300 technical publications, and has been awarded the Optical Society of America’s (OSA) Adolph Lomb Medal, Joseph Fraunhofer Award and John Tyndall Award, as well as the Institution of Engineering Technology’s J J Thomson Medal for Electronics. He is a Fellow of the OSA and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Dr. Welch holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Delaware and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University.