3Com CEO Claflin headed for retirement

3Com President and CEO Bruce Claflin will retire as soon a replacement is found, the company said Wednesday.

3Com President and Chief Executive Officer Bruce Claflin will retire as soon as the networking technology vendor finds a replacement for him, the company said Wednesday.

Claflin joined 3Com in 1998 as president and chief operating officer, coming from Digital Equipment, and has held the top executive job since January 2001. The company has weathered tough times in the past several years, including losses and a major restructuring, partly as a result of the telecommunications downturn. However, on Wednesday the company reconfirmed its plan to break even, before restructuring and amortization expenses, in its fiscal quarter ending in February 2007.

3Com formed a joint venture with Chinese networking vendor Huawei in 2003 that brought 3Com back into the enterprise network equipment, selling gear jointly developed through the venture. Last January, 3Com agreed to acquire TippingPoint Technologies, a maker of network-based intrusion prevention systems.

Claflin is participating in the search for his replacement, along with a committee of independent directors of the company's board. After a new leader is chosen, he will stay on as a senior advisor for six months to help ensure a smooth transition, according to a press release. Claflin's successor will also take over his post on the board and as chairman of Huawei-3Com.

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