Tellabs Announces New Leadership to Drive Growth

by | Oct 10, 2017 | News Release

James D. Norrod has been appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Tellabs.

Dallas, Texas: Marlin Equity Partners and Tellabs Board of Directors announced today that James D. Norrod has been appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Tellabs, replacing retiring former President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Dagenais. Mr. Norrod will also join the board of directors of Tellabs effective immediately.

Mr. Norrod is a veteran executive with a long history of CEO leadership experience that spans nearly three decades. Mr. Norrod will leverage this experience to guide Tellabs through the next phase of the company’s growth as the migration to fiber-based network solutions continues to expand across both the broadband and enterprise markets. Mr. Norrod joins Tellabs at a momentous time in our industry. Broadband service providers, and their place in the digital ecosystem, are evolving at an unprecedented pace and Passive Optical LAN is moving closer towards becoming the enterprise network technology of the future.

I look forward to leading Tellabs in this dynamic and evolving industry. Tellabs has made significant investments in delivering innovative technologies that are recognized across the industry and will continue to serve as the underpinning for the company’s evolution,” stated Mr. Norrod.  “The combination of Tellabs’ commitment to customer service, industry leading technology and market position, and Marlin’s continued support to help accelerate growth, has created a unique and dynamic company which I am excited to join.”

Most recently, Mr. Norrod was the President and CEO of Zhone Technologies, Inc. and subsequently co-CEO of Dasan Zhone Solutions, Inc. following Dasan Network Solutions’ acquisition of Zhone in 2016. He brings relevant and unique insight into the opportunities and challenges of the modern telecommunications industry, and his breadth of experience in accelerating growth at both public and private companies across multiple industries makes him an excellent choice to lead Tellabs’ through its next phase of growth. Mr. Norrod earned an M.B.A. from the University of Detroit Mercy and a B.S. in Economics from Oakland University.

We are thrilled to have Jim join the Tellabs family and thank Mike Dagenais for guiding Tellabs successfully through the past several years. Mike assembled a deep management team and reestablished Tellabs as one of the most innovative technology companies in the industry through the validation and accelerated customer adoption of our Passive Optical LAN technology,” said Doug Bayerd, a principal at Marlin. “He has been instrumental in Tellabs’ success up to this point and we wish him well in his retirement.”


About Tellabs
Tellabs is leading the future of networking with access solutions for today, poised to deliver modern high-performance solutions for the future. Fast and secure access has never been in more demand for enterprise and government connectivity. Tellabs’ sole focus is to deliver simple, secure, scalable and stable access to optimize network performance. Tellabs has delivered carrier-class access solutions to service providers for more than two decades. We are now expanding that leadership by defining the future of enterprise networking that connects the campus, buildings and inspires people. For more information, please visit

About Marlin Equity Partners 

Marlin Equity Partners is a global investment firm with over $6.7 billion of capital under management. The firm is focused on providing corporate parents, shareholders and other stakeholders with tailored solutions that meet their business and liquidity needs. Marlin invests in businesses across multiple industries where its capital base, industry relationships and extensive network of operational resources significantly strengthen a company’s outlook and enhance value. Since its inception, Marlin, through its group of funds and related companies, has successfully completed over 100 acquisitions. The firm is headquartered in Los Angeles, California with an additional office in London. For more information, please visit

Media Contact:
John Hoover

John Hoover, Tellabs Marketing Director
John Hoover
Director of Marketing
John Hoover is a Marketing Director at Tellabs and 2024 Board Chair of the Association for Promoting Optical LAN (APOLAN). Over the past 20 years, John has influenced industry milestones such as early passive optical network deployments, video implementations, wireless and more recently enterprise Passive Optical LAN adoption.