Feeds

Mao to run 3Com from China

Can new boss deliver great leap forward?

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Networking equipment firm 3Com has ousted chief exec Edgar Masri in the wake of an abandoned buyout by Bain Capital Partners and Huawei, the Chinese networking firm.

Masri was replaced by Robert Mao, 64, a fluent Mandarin speaker who will be based in Beijing, which the US-based firm views as its biggest potential market. New president and chief operating officer Ronald Sege, the former chief exec of wireless networking firm Tropos Networks, will be based in the US and will handle the firm's business outside China, reporting to Mao.

Eric Benhamou remains 3Com's chairman following Tuesday's shake-up - which is perhaps just as well since the idea of installing chairman Mao at the head of a major publicly traded firm is unlikely to go down well in the US.

Basing its chief on the other side of the world is a radical, not to say ballsy, move by 3Com - a firm that's had sand kicked in its face by market leader Cisco for years after pioneering Ethernet and network computing.

Perhaps the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) had an inkling that Mao was on the ascendancy when it held out on a proposed $2.2bn buyout of 3Com by Bain and its Chinese partner. The two firms pulled out of the deal in March after failing to restructure the agreement to the satisfaction of the CIFUS.

The Treasury committee expressed national security concerns about Huawei gaining a minority stake in 3Com, whose TippingPoint unit sells intrusion prevention kit to the US government. Concerns were further inflamed by Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei's background as a former Chinese army officer. Under the original terms of the deal, Huawei would secure a 16.5 per cent stake in 3Com, while Bain retained the rest.

Huawei dismissed these concerns as "bullshit", pointing out that no objections were raised when 3Com and Huawei got into bed in a 50-50 joint venture.

The 3Com deal is not the first to involve the information security market getting into trouble over national security concerns. Israel-based Check Point dropped its $225m planned purchase of intrusion prevention firm Sourcefire in March 2006 after objections from the FBI and Pentagon were heard by the Treasury's Committee on Foreign Investments. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
IBM storage revenues sink: 'We are disappointed,' says CEO
Time to put the storage biz up for sale?
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
'Urika': Cray unveils new 1,500-core big data crunching monster
6TB of DRAM, 38TB of SSD flash and 120TB of disk storage
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
This time we play for ALL the marbles
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.