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Executive Forum

OIDA Executive Forum - An Exclusive Event for Business Leaders in Networking and Communications Technology 

12 March 2018
Hilton Bayfront Hotel, Sapphire AB Ballroom
San Diego, CA USA

Held every year in conjunction with OFC, the OIDA Executive Forum features C-level panelists in an informal, uncensored setting discussing the latest issues facing companies in the business. Join more than 200 senior-level executives as they convene to discuss key themes, opportunities, and challenges facing the next generation in optical networking and communications. Highly valued by participants for the frank and open discussions, OIDA Executive Forum sessions explore emerging trends and action plans for tackling today's toughest business challenges.

Who Should Attend?

  • Service Provider Network Executives
  • Service Provider Technology Evaluators
  • Data Center Managers
  • Enterprise Network Managers
  • Business Development Executives
  • Communications Technology Development Managers
  • Optical Systems Developers and Managers
  • Core Router Developers
  • Test Equipment Vendors
  • Data Center Switch and Router Vendors
  • Semiconductor Manufacturers
  • Venture Investors
  • Financial and Market Analysts

2018 Planning Committee

  • Alexis Björlin, Vice President of the Data Center Group (DCG) & General Manager of the DCG Connectivity Group, Intel Corporation
  • Simin Cai, President and CEO, Go!Foton
  • Aref Chowdhury, Chief Technology Officer Optics, Nokia
  • Stephen Hardy, Editorial Director, Associate Publisher, Lightwave
  • Vladimir Kozlov, Founder and CEO, LightCounting
  • Saurabh Kumar, Principal Network Development Engineer, Amazon Web Services
  • Claudio Mazzali, Vice-President of Technology, Optical Connectivity Solutions, Corning
  • Natarajan 'Subu' Subrahmanyan, Principal, AO Asset Management
  • Mark Wippich, Partner, LightWave Advisors, Inc.

Executive Forum

The 2018 program features panels, presentations, a special CEO Fireside Chat and networking events that provide a unique opportunity for executives in the optical networking and communications business to learn from and connect with industry peers who are implementing solutions and addressing issues much like their own. Check back frequently for program updates as additional speakers are being confirmed.

OIDA Executive Forum Schedule

7:00 - 12:00 Registration
7:30 - 8:30 Breakfast
8:30 - 8:45 Welcome and Opening Comments
8:45 - 9:30 Featured Keynote Speaker
9:30 - 10:40

Panel 1: 5G Impact on Next Gen Optical Access

Moderator: Claudio Mazzali, Corning 

10:40 - 11:10 Coffee Break
11:10 - 12:20

Panel 2: Silicon in Photonics – More than Silicon Photonics!

Moderator: Alexis Björlin, Intel

12:20 - 13:20 Networking Lunch
13:20 - 14:30

Panel 3: Optical Networking: Perspectives from Asia

Moderator: Vladimir Kozlov, LightCounting

14:30 - 15:00 Coffee Break
15:00 - 16:10

Panel 4: Frontiers in Optical Networks

ModeratorStephen Hardy, Lightwave

16:10 - 17:20

Special CEO Fireside Chat: The View from the Top - Everything You Wanted to Know about Optics but were Afraid to Ask

Moderator: Natarajan "Subu' Subrahmanyan, AO Asset Management

17:20 - 17:30 Closing Comments
17:30 - 19:00 Networking Reception for Executive Forum Attendees and OIDA Members

OIDA Executive Forum Panels

Featured Keynote:

Keynote Speaker: 

Andreas BechtolsheimArista Networks

Keynote Presentation

Optics in the Cloud Datacenter
The presentation will discuss the increasing network bandwidth consumption in the data center, the various optics technologies used in cloud data centers, the market transition from 40G to 100G and 400G speeds, 
the cloud network metro and longer reach opportunity and innovations in optics technologies and packaging.

Panel 1: 5G Impact on Next Gen Optical Access

Anticipated 5G service levels are creating an exciting prospective in access networks. New spectrum availability and new wireless technologies combined with applications in Augmented Reality, IoT and Smart Cities will drive another wave of innovation and business opportunities at the edge of the network.  To enable all that, optical technologies will be critical not only for a high capacity backhaul, but even more in the fronthaul connecting an ultra-dense network of antennas. This is expected to be the first large scale implementation of a truly converged optical-wireless network. Leading service providers will share their visions for use of optical technologies in 5G infrastructure.

Moderator: Claudio Mazzali, Corning

Jiajin GaoChina Mobile 
Lee HicksVerizon Communications


Panel 2: Silicon in Photonics – More than Silicon Photonics!

While there has been significant debate on the applicability and success of Silicon Photonics in the optics industry over the last several years, Silicon, in reality, has played a critical role as an enabler of the next generation of optical networking technologies and architectures.  Innovation in switch silicon, coherent DSPs, linear drivers and PAM-4 chips are just some of the examples of technology driving the advancement of optics.  

The advancement of the photonics industry enabled by silicon is key to its growth.  However, the growing role of silicon in in photonics also begs the question – is silicon friend or foe to the optical component vendors? Do silicon based solutions cannibalize the optical component industry by absorbing or eliminating capabilities and features traditionally served by optical components

In this panel, experts from the IC industry as well as their users, both OEMs and cloud operators, will discuss the technology challenges facing the optical industry and the role of silicon in solving those challenges as well as the impact of this growing presence on the optical component vendors.  

Moderator: Alexis Björlin, Intel

Bill GartnerCisco Systems, Inc. 
Jamie GaudetteMicrosoft
Benny MikkelsenAcacia Communications
Ram VelagaBroadcom Limited


Panel 3: Optical Networking: Perspectives from Asia
The engine of global economic growth depends more than ever on the East. Despite many challenges for doing business in Asia, few companies can afford to miss opportunities in this market. Diversity of the region offers a unique perspective on progress in deployments of networking infrastructure. Japan and South Korea lead the world in speed of broadband connectivity and maturity of their network. These countries will be the first to test new wireless technologies as they host winter and summer Olympic Games in 2018 and 2020. China made a huge impact on the global optical communications market in the last 10 years and it may continue to surprise us with the scale of infrastructure projects. India is emerging from a decade of false expectations, as many projects have finally accelerated in the last 2 years, offering another example for other countries in Asia. Panelists from leading companies in Asia will discuss current situation and future plans on deployment of optical networking in this region.

Moderator: Vladimir Kozlov, LightCounting

Richard JinHuawei
Jae Kwan LeeSK Telecom
Kiyoharu SasakiNTT East
Guangquan Wang, China Unicom

Panel 4: Frontiers in Optical Networks
There are several commercial developments outside of communications that could add traffic to optical networks.  These are interesting for their own sake, but also for the changes they might bring to network architectures.  Developments include autonomous vehicles, 3D sensors on mobile phone handsets, and other sensors that are often grouped as the Internet of Things.  The rapid advancement of deep learning and other artificial intelligence hardware and software have implications not only to the processing of image and other optical sensor data, but may also require new network architectures within the data centers managing the AI operations.  This session will bring leaders to talk about their perspectives in the development of optical components and the implications for optical networks

Moderator: Stephen Hardy, Lightwave

Yves DzialowskiArgo AI
Casimir WierzynskiIntel
Andre WongLumentum

Special CEO Fireside Chat: The View from the Top - Everything You Wanted to Know about Optics but were Afraid to Ask

This fireside chat features CEOs from the leading vendors in the optical component industry providing their unique perspective on a broad range of industry issues including

  • View of market fundamentals in 2018 and over the next 3 years 
  • Growth drivers by product, customer segment and geographies
  • Sustaining growth in a highly cyclical industry
  • Diversification into new frontiers and applications such as consumer, auto and industrial
  • Balancing investment in innovation with profitability and monetizing the innovation delivered 
  • Industry Consolidation

This will be an interactive session with plenty of opportunities for the audience to ask their questions.

Moderator: Natarajan "Subu' Subrahmanyan, AO Asset Management

Greg DoughertyOclaro
Alan LoweLumentum
Chuck MatteraII-VI Incorporated
Jerry RawlsFinisar Corporation
Ford TamerInphi Corporation



Andreas Bechtolsheim, Chief Development Officer, Arista Networks

Andreas "Andy" von Bechtolsheim is Chairman, Chief Development Officer and a Founder of Arista Networks, a vendor of cloud networking solutions for large data centers.

Previously, Andy was a Co-Founder and Chief System Architect at Sun Microsystems, responsible for next generation server, storage, and network architectures.  

As a private venture investor, Andy has been involved in the funding of numerous companies including Google, VMware, Mellanox, Brocade, and Magma Design. He has served on the Board of Directors of over 25 companies, the majority of which went public or were acquired.  Andy earned a M.S. in Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 1976. He was a doctoral student in Computer Science at Stanford University from 1977 to 1982. He has been honored with a Fulbright scholarship, a Studienstiftung scholarship, the Stanford Entrepreneur Company of the year award, the Smithsonian Leadership Award for Innovation, and he is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Greg Dougherty, CEO, Oclaro
Greg has served as Chief Executive Officer of Oclaro since June 2013 and has served as a director of Oclaro since 2009. Prior to Oclaro, from 2005 to 2009 he served as a director of Avanex Corporation which merged with Bookham to become Oclaro.   Prior to becoming CEO of Oclaro, Greg has served on the boards of several high technology companies.  He has also been active in the area of Children’s health and palliative care.  He has served as a board member of the Ronald McDonald House at Stanford and the Bay Area Make a Wish Foundation.

Earlier in his career, Greg was the Chief Operating Officer at JDS Uniphase Corporation (JDS), Prior to JDS he was the Chief Operating Officer of SDL, Inc., from March 1997 to February 2001 when they were acquired by JDS. From 1989 to 1997, Mr. Dougherty was the Director of Product Management and Marketing at Lucent Technologies Microelectronics in the Optoelectronics Strategic Business Unit. Mr. Dougherty received a B.Sc. degree in Optics in 1983 from the University of Rochester.

Yves Dzialowski, Executive Advisor, Argo AI

Yves serves as Executive Advisor at Argo AI since the merger between Argo and Princeton Lightwave Inc., a leader in single-photon imaging, where he was Executive Chairman, after having served as CEO. Argo AI addresses one of the most challenging applications in computer science, robotics, and artificial intelligence: virtual driving systems that enable vehicles to be fully autonomous and able to navigate city streets.

Prior to Princeton Lightwave, Yves was Senior VP, Strategy and Business Development, at JDS-Uniphase Corporation (JDSU). Earlier in his career, Yves was the President and Chief Operating Officer at EPITAXX Inc., a supplier of detectors and receivers for optical networks that was acquired by JDSU in 1999. Yves has also served on the boards of several high technology photonics companies.
Mr. Dzialowski received a Doctorate in Optics from the University of Paris in 1977.

Jiajin Gao, Deputy General Manager, China Mobile Technology

Jiajin Gao has been with telecom industry for 20 years and held various leadership positions spanning R&D, Planning, Engineering, Marketing and Operations. He is currently the Deputy General Manager of China Mobile Technology (USA), the Silicon Valley Research Center for China Mobile, where he leads the emerging network technologies including SDN/NFV projects.

Bill Gartner, CVP/GM Optical Systems & Optics Group, Cisco Systems, Inc.

Bill Gartner is Vice President/GM of Cisco's Optical Systems & Optics Group.  In this role, Bill has P&L responsibility for these businesses and is responsible for strategic direction, product development, product positioning and new product introduction. 

Prior to joining Cisco, Bill was Chief Operating Officer of Meriton Networks (acquired by Xtera Networks).   Prior to Meriton, Bill served as President and COO of Mahi Networks and COO of Photuris.

Before joining Photuris, he was Vice President and General Manager of Lucent's Optical Networking Systems business, responsible for Metro, Access, and Long Haul DWDM Products.  His earlier tenure in the industry included roles at AT&T Bell Labs and Paradyne.  Bill has also served on the boards of OptronX (acquired by JDSU) and CyOptics.

Bill has a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech, a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University, and an Executive Master’s in Technology Management from University of Pennsylvania/Wharton.   He is a University of Pennsylvania Moore Fellow, and holds 3 patents.

Jamie Gaudette, Manager of Optical Networking, Microsoft

Jamie Gaudette is the Manager of Optical Networking at Microsoft in Redmond, WA, USA, where he designs, builds and operates a world-class open data center network, and develops SDN software. Before Microsoft, Jamie spent 9 years designing industry leading networking hardware and software with Ciena and Nortel in Ottawa, Canada.  He has 5 US patents and has published research in data center networking, long haul and undersea transmission, and physical layer modeling.  He holds a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Queen’s University in Canada.

Lee Hicks, Vice President, Network Planning, Verizon Communications

Lee Hicks is Vice President- Network Planning, and is responsible for developing core network element, platform technology and feature roadmaps that best meet Verizon’s long-term infrastructure requirements.

Prior to his current position, as vice president- Global Network Engineering, Lee was responsible for the engineering and implementation of wireline networks that support consumer, enterprise, and wholesale video, data, and voice services.  He was also responsible for video operations that support broadcast and on-demand content acquisition, transformation, grooming, delivery, and ad-insertion.
Mr. Hicks also served as Vice President - Video Network Services and led the team responsible for the engineering of Verizon’s FiOS video network, including broadcast and interactive video services, video content operations, and in-home network engineering.

Previous to this experience, Lee was Vice President - Network Engineering & Planning for Verizon’s Coast to Coast area and led the team that planned, designed and provisioned Verizon’s wireline infrastructure across 5 regions encompassing over 19M access lines in 18 states.  He was also executive director - FTTP Network Creation, where his responsibility was to guide the formation of the FTTP network and ensure that the capabilities were in place for provisioning of FiOS services.

Richard Jin, President, Transmission Network Product Line, Huawei

Richard Jin joined Huawei in 1998, with 19 years of working experience, Mr. Jin is one of the founders of Huawei WDM. From 1998 to 2005, he was the main design and development expert of the company's first NG-WDM, which enabled Huawei to be  the leader of OTN field.  From 2005  to 2015, Mr. Jin was the leader of the whole WDM product line. Under his leadership, Huawei's WDM market share was  No.1 among the whole industry for 6 continuous years from 2009 to 2015.  From 2015  to  June  2017, he served  as Vice President of Southern-East Asia Region,  Mr. Jin  was responsible for Southern-East Asia Region carrier MKT and solutions business sales. From June 2017 to present, Mr. Jin serves as the President of the Transmission Network Product Line and is responsible for the overall management and operation of Transmission Network Product Line.

Jae Kwan Lee, General Manager, Network Strategy, SK Telecom

Jaekwan Lee is currently General Manager of Network Strategy office in SK Telecom, a Korean leading telecommunication company. He is in charge of strategy, planning and engineering of mobile telecommunication transmission network.

Lee joined SK telecom in 2007.  He is specialized in transmission/IP backhaul and backbone network strategy and engineering. He commercialized some of new solutions firstly in Korea which are IP backhaul system, POTN(200G/λ) system, 3G over LTE solution and so on.  They contributed to reduce CapEx/OpEx, Risk Management in SKT’s network.

He is also responsible for 5G Transmission network planning for fronthaul/midhaul. and He has a lot of experience in operation of system and providing solutions for upgrade transmission net-work.

Alan Lowe, President & CEO, Lumentum

Alan Lowe is Lumentum’s President and CEO. Most recently he was President of JDSU's CCOP business segment from 2008 through its spin-off to form Lumentum. Under his leadership, the CCOP business was transformed by focusing on the customer, investing in market-leading innovation and improving operational execution. Lowe joined JDSU in September 2007 as Senior Vice President of JDSU’s Commercial Lasers group, which was ultimately integrated into CCOP.

Before his career at JDSU, Lowe was Senior Vice President, Customer Solutions at Asyst Technologies, Inc., a leader in automating semiconductor and flat panel display fabs. Prior to this role, Lowe was President and Chief Executive Officer of Read-Rite Corporation, a manufacturer of thin-film recording heads for disk and tape drives. Lowe also held various sales positions at Microcom Corporation and IBM Corporation.

Lowe holds bachelor's degrees in Computer Science and Business Economics from University of California, Santa Barbara and also completed the Stanford Executive Program.

Chuck Mattera, President & CEO, II-VI Incorporated

Dr. Vincent (Chuck) Mattera has been President and CEO of II-VI Incorporated since September 2016.  He was the Company’s third President and Chief Executive Officer in 45 years.  He joined the company as vice president in 2004, and assumed increasingly responsible executive positions, including as a lead architect of the company’s diversification strategy and overseeing acquisition-related integration activities in the US, Europe, and Asia. These activities have contributed to a new positioning of II-VI in large and transformative global growth markets while increasing the global reach of the company, deepening the technology and IP portfolio, and broadening the product roadmap and customer base. Before joining II-VI, Dr. Mattera had a 20-year career in the Optoelectronic Device Division of AT&T Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies, and Agere Systems, during which he led the development and manufacturing of semiconductor laser-based materials and devices for optical and data communications networks. He has a BS in chemistry from the University of Rhode Island, a PhD in chemistry from Brown University, and has completed the Stanford University Executive Program.


Benny Mikkelsen, CTO, Acacia Communications

Dr. Benny P. Mikkelsen is one of the founders of Acacia Communications and also serves as its Chief Technology Officer. Benny brings to Acacia extensive expertise and experience in optical transmission and technologies. Prior to joining Acacia, Benny co-founded and served as the vice president of technology of Mintera. Prior to that, he held various engineering positions with Bell Laboratories, a research and scientific development company owned by Alcatel-Lucent USA. Benny has published more than 200 papers and conference contributions in letters, journals and conferences. Benny holds an M.S. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the Technical University of Denmark.

Kiyoharu Sasaki, General Manager, Strategic Plant Planning Department, NTT East  

Kiyoharu Sasaki is General Manager, Strategic Plant Planning Department, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone East Corporation (NTT East), a Japanese leading network company. NTT East is responsible for regional telecommunications services in the eastern areas of the country.

Sasaki has about 30 years of experience in optical communications. He joined NTT in 1989. Since 2001 as Senior Research Engineer at NTT Access Network Service Systems Laboratories (NTT AS Labs.), he developed PON network system and contributed greatly to establish the foundation of Japanese FTTH networks.

In 2006, he was transferred to the NTT East and made a vital contribution to operation system development to expand the FTTH services in Japan. Through the experience of “the Great East Japan Earthquake” (March 11th, 2011), he developed a quick restoration technologies for the access networks by utilizing drones and also contributed the development of the new robust communication facilities in case of disasters.

Moving back to NTT AS Labs. in 2015, Sasaki led the R&D project to develop a novel optical access network architecture as a key social infrastructure in such 5G/IoT era.

In his current position at NTT East, Sasaki’s chief focuses include 1) building advanced information society integrating its FTTH networks with IoT and AI technologies as well as 2) building out the networks for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games as a Gold Partner of its Tokyo Organizing Committee.

Jerry Rawls, Director of the Board, Finisar Corporation

Jerry Rawls, Co-Founder of Finisar, is a member of the Board of Directors. He has also served as President, Chief Executive Officer, and a member of the Board of Directors from 1989 to 2018, including serving as Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors from 2006-2018. From 1968 to 1989, he was employed by Raychem Corporation, a materials science and engineering company. At Raychem he held various management positions including Manager of Product Marketing, National Sales Manager, General Manager of the Aerospace Products Division, and General Manager of the Interconnection Systems Division. Mr. Rawls holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Texas Tech University and an M.S. in Industrial Administration from the Krannert Graduate School of Management at Purdue University. He is a member of Tau Beta Pi and Pi Tau Sigma engineering honorary societies.

Ford Tamer, President & CEO, Inphi Corporation 

Dr. Ford Tamer serves as Inphi Corporation’s President and Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Tamer brings to Inphi over 20 years of experience building successful technology businesses with particular expertise in the semiconductor sector. 

Prior to joining Inphi, Dr. Tamer served as CEO of Telegent Systems, Senior VP and General Manager of Broadcom’s Infrastructure Networking Group, which he grew to $1.2 billion in revenue in five years, CEO of Agere Inc. which was acquired by Lucent Microelectronics, and VP at Agere Systems.  He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Sentons Inc. 

Dr. Tamer holds an MS and PhD in engineering from MIT.

Ram Velaga, Senior Vice President & General Manager Switch Products Division, Broadcom Limited

Ram Velaga is the Senior Vice President & General Manager of the Switching Products Division at Broadcom, responsible for the company's extensive Ethernet switch portfolio serving broad markets including the service provider, data center and enterprise segments.  Prior to joining Broadcom in 2012, he served in a variety  of product management roles at Cisco Systems, including Vice President of Product Management for the Data Center Technology Group.  Mr. Velaga earned an M.S. in Industrial Engineering from Penn State University and an M.B.A. from Cornell University.  Mr. Velaga holds patents in communications and virtual infrastructure.  

Guangquan WangChina Unicom

Casimir Wierzynski, Senior Director, Office of the CTO, Intel

Casimir Wierzynski is Senior Director, Office of the CTO, in the Artificial Intelligence Product Group at Intel Corporation.  He leads research efforts to identify, synthesize, and incubate emerging technologies that will enable the next generation of AI systems.

Before joining Intel in 2017, Cas led research teams in neuromorphic computing, learning and AI planning, and autonomous robotics at Qualcomm. Prior to Qualcomm, Cas was a Vice President at Goldman Sachs, where he traded fixed income and credit derivatives. 

Cas received his BS and MS in electrical engineering at MIT, completing his master’s thesis at AT&T Bell Labs, and a BA in mathematics at Cambridge University as a British Marshall Scholar. Driven by his passion for AI and the brain, Cas left finance to receive his PhD at Caltech in Computation and Neural Systems, where he used large-scale neural recordings to study the relationship between memory consolidation and sleep. At Caltech he received a NDSEG Fellowship, a Beckman Fellowship, a Helen Hay Whitney Fellowship, and the Ferguson Prize for the best doctoral thesis in biology. 

Andre Wong, Senior Director,Product Line Management, Lumentum 

Dr. Wong is the Sr. Director of Product Line Management at Lumentum responsible for the company’s Industrial and Consumer Diode lasers business and emerging markets.     

Dr. Wong was educated at the University of British Columbia in Canada where he obtained a PhD in Materials Physics.  After obtaining his Ph.D., Dr. Wong was an NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada) Post-doctoral research fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, where he conducted research in fabricating low photon count detectors using CMOS sensors.

From 2000 to 2008, Dr. Wong held various R&D positions at SDL, then JDSU, then moved to the Product Line Management position in 2008. Dr. Wong has been a champion and evangelist for the 3D Sensing business at Lumentum for many years.  His leadership and guidance has been instrumental in achieving Lumentum’s leadership in 3D Sensing.

Dr. Wong has won many awards, hold several patents and publications.
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