For additional background on today's CEO announcement, I wanted to share a copy of the email I sent to our global staff announcing François Locoh-Donou’s appointment.
From: John McAdam
To: F5 Staff
Date: January 30, 2017
Subject: New CEO Announced: François Locoh-Donou
It is my distinct honor, and with a great deal of excitement, that I can announce the Board has selected my successor: François Locoh-Donou.
As noted in today’s appointment, François will assume the role of President, CEO and Board Director on April 3rd. I will remain as President and CEO until then, and will officially retire on that date. I will continue to be involved with the company that I am so proud of, but as a fellow Director on the F5 Board. Al Higginson, who has done a stellar job, will remain our Board Chairman.
This announcement has been a long time coming, but I believe that as you get to know François you will understand why he has been worth the wait.
He joins us from Ciena, a networking company based outside Washington, DC, by way of Togo and France. He is an engineer by training, with a strong business background, who has spent nearly two decades building a wide range of products, teams and operations around the world. His track record at Ciena leading the company’s product development, services, sales, marketing and EMEA teams demonstrate his results. But I think what matters more than the revenue growth he generated – though it is significant – or the number of people he has mentored and coached – though again, that is impressive – is his versatility. Throughout the interview process, I was struck by his acumen as an engineer and his facility as a strategist. Whether it was leading Ciena’s expansion from hardware to software, managing a major company acquisition or pioneering new customer consumption models, François has demonstrated his range of management, experience and curiosity that could not be more relevant or necessary to F5’s success in the years ahead.
I know François is really looking forward to sharing his own ideas about what that future looks like for the F5 team, but I would also urge you to consider his background that goes well beyond the typical desk-bound executive. Ask him about his commitment to social entrepreneurship in his home country of Togo or the non-profit work he does for maternal health in developing countries on the board of Jhpiego. You will be inspired by his commitment to sustainable change and humbled by the scale of problems he is willing to examine outside his day-to-day professional responsibilities, as well as his personal commitments as the father of three young children, and his extended family across the U.S., Europe and Africa.
While he wraps up his work at Ciena, François is planning his family’s relocation to Seattle. I trust you will extend to François the warmest of welcomes and demonstrate the very best of the F5 culture he has heard so much about. Until then, the F5 team around the world has my deepest gratitude and highest esteem during this second go-round as your CEO. I expect to continue to see great things from all of you, because I have the highest confidence in François and the rest of our outstanding Executive Team.