Industry Veteran Leaves JDS Uniphase

July 30, 2003
San Jose, CA, July 31, 2003. Fred Leonberger, chief technology officer at JDS Uniphase for nearly a decade, has decided to retire from the company to pursue other interests. His last day was June 30. Leonberger's career in optoelectronics dates back nearly 30 years. He spent 10 years at MIT Lincoln Lab, involved in optoelectronic device research, and left there in 1984 to manage photonics development at United Technologies Research Center

San Jose, CA, July 31, 2003. Fred Leonberger, chief technology officer at JDS Uniphase for nearly a decade, has decided to retire from the company to pursue other interests. His last day was June 30. Leonberger's career in optoelectronics dates back nearly 30 years. He spent 10 years at MIT Lincoln Lab, involved in optoelectronic device research, and left there in 1984 to manage photonics development at United Technologies Research Center.

In 1992 when United Technologies spun off United Technologies Photonics, Leonberger went with the UTP group. According to Leonberger, a few years later United Technologies decided to divest a number of its small companies, including UTP. As luck would have it, Uniphase was in the market at that time (1995) to buy components companies and so acquired UTP.

"We were the first communications acquisition by Uniphase," Leonberger said. "Then they started to grow and went on an acquisition string, and I was chief technology officer of Uniphase all through that time. I was part of the core team that built the company up, culminating in the merger with JDS."

Leonberger says that, looking back over the last decade, two major achievements stand out for him: ramping up to produce in volume products that had only been research or prototype products prior to that time; and, more recently, the consolidation and realignment of JDSU to position the company for the future of telecom.

"A lot of things that came out of the research lab moved into volume product between 1997-2000-not just us but the industry-and being part of that has been very exciting," he said.

Leonberger expects to continue to be involved in this industry in some capacity and is excited about the future, both personally and professionally.
"I believe in continued growth of data traffic and Internet traffic. It is doubling every year, and I see that continuing," he said. "Right now we are beginning to see some signs of life at the RFP stage, and a number of carriers are about to award contracts, or at least installations. And the government is about to award the GIBE (global information bandwidth exchange) contracts. There are a lot of new technologies to enable people to have broadband access where they live and where they work, and this to me signals modest growth for the industry."

Kathy Kincade, Contributing Editor

Laser Focus World

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