WESTFORD, Mass. –- Ribbon Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: RBBN), a global software leader in secure and intelligent cloud communications, today announced the departure of its President and Chief Executive Officer, Franklin (Fritz) W. Hobbs, effective today. The Board has appointed Steven Bruny, Executive Vice President, Global Sales and Services, and Kevin Riley, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, as Interim Co-Presidents and Chief Executive Officers. Messrs. Bruny and Riley will assume Mr. Hobbs’ duties while Ribbon’s Board of Directors works with One Degree Partners, a leading global executive search firm, to recruit a new CEO for Ribbon.
“Fritz has served our company well over the last two years. He stepped up when we needed to integrate Sonus and GENBAND, very successfully completing the integration in all respects, delivering more than all of the planned synergies and dramatically improving the Company’s profitability,” said Dick Lynch, Chairman of the Board. “Additionally, he has been focused on strategic opportunities, culminating in the transformational merger with ECI Telecom Group Ltd that we announced today. The Board thanks Fritz for his successes on behalf of Ribbon.”
About Ribbon Communications
Ribbon Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: RBBN) delivers market-leading software solutions that secure and power many of the world’s leading service provider and enterprise communications environments. Built on world-class technology and intellectual property, the company’s cloud-native solutions deliver intelligent and secure real-time communications solutions for the cloud, network and enterprise edge. Ribbon’s Kandy Cloud real-time communications software platform delivers advanced and embedded CPaaS and UCaaS capabilities enabling service providers to rapidly create and deploy high-value communications services. To learn more, visit ribboncommunications.com.
Important Additional Information Will be Filed with the SEC
Ribbon Communications Inc. (“Ribbon”) will file with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) a proxy statement of Ribbon relating to a special meeting of Ribbon’s stockholders (the “proxy statement”). SHAREHOLDERS ARE URGED TO CAREFULLY READ THE PROXY STATEMENT AND OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS TO BE FILED WITH THE SEC IN THEIR ENTIRETY WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT RIBBON, ECI Telecom Group Ltd. (“ECI”), THE PROPOSED TRANSACTIONS AND RELATED MATTERS. Shareholders will be able to obtain free copies of the proxy statement and other documents filed with the SEC by the parties through the website maintained by the SEC at sec.gov. In addition, investors and shareholders will be able to obtain free copies of the proxy statement and other documents filed with the SEC by the parties on Ribbon’s website at investors.ribboncommunications.com.
Participants in the Solicitation
Ribbon and its directors and executive officers may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies from the shareholders of Ribbon in respect of the proposed transactions contemplated by the proxy statement. Information regarding the persons who are, under the rules of the SEC, participants in the solicitation of the shareholders of Ribbon, respectively, in connection with the proposed transactions, including a description of their direct or indirect interests, by security holdings or otherwise, will be set forth in the proxy statement when it is filed with the SEC. Information regarding Ribbon’s directors and executive officers is contained in Ribbon’s Annual Report on Form 10-K/A for the year ended December 31, 2018 and its Proxy Statement on Schedule 14A, dated April 25, 2019, which are filed with the SEC.
No Offer or Solicitation
This communication is not intended to and does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to subscribe for or buy or an invitation to purchase or subscribe for any securities or the solicitation of any vote in any jurisdiction pursuant to the proposed transactions or otherwise, nor shall there be any sale, issuance or transfer of securities in any jurisdiction in contravention of applicable law.
This communication contains forward-looking statements (including within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) concerning Ribbon and ECI, the proposed transactions and other matters. These statements may discuss goals, intentions and expectations as to future plans, trends, events, results of operations or financial condition, or otherwise, based on current beliefs of the management of Ribbon and ECI as well as assumptions made by, and information currently available to, such management. Forward-looking statements may be accompanied by words such as “aim,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “seek,” “see,” “plan,” “could,” “would,” “should,” “estimate,” “expect,” “forecast,” “future,” “guidance,” “intend,” “may,” “will,” “possible,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “target” or similar words, phrases or expressions, and include statements regarding the CEO transition, business strategy, the proposed acquisition of ECI Telecom Group Ltd. (“ECI”), and the anticipated benefits of the merger with ECI. These forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties, many of which are outside the parties’ control, such as statements about the consummation of the proposed transaction. Therefore, you should not place undue reliance on such statements.
Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include failure to consummate the proposed transaction; failure to make or take any filing or other action required to consummate the proposed transaction in a timely matter or at all; failure to obtain applicable regulatory or shareholder approvals in a timely manner or otherwise; failure to satisfy other closing conditions to the proposed transactions; risks that the new businesses will not be integrated successfully or that the combined companies will not realize estimated cost savings; failure to realize anticipated benefits of the combined operations; potential litigation relating to the proposed transaction and disruptions from the proposed transaction that could harm Ribbon’s or ECI’s business; reductions in client spending, a slowdown in client payments and changes in client requirements; ability to hire and retain key personnel; the potential impact of announcement or consummation of the proposed transaction on relationships with third parties, including clients, employees and competitors; ability to attract new clients and retain existing clients in the manner anticipated; reliance on and integration of information technology systems; changes in legislation or governmental regulations affecting the companies; international, national or local economic, social or political conditions that could adversely affect the companies or their clients; conditions in the credit markets; risks associated with assumptions the parties make in connection with the parties’ critical accounting estimates and legal proceedings; and the parties’ international operations, which are subject to the risks of currency fluctuations and foreign exchange controls. The foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive. All of our forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties (some of which are significant or beyond our control) and assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from our historical experience and our present expectations or projections. Unlisted factors may present significant additional obstacles to the realization of forward-looking statements. Accordingly, there is no assurance that the expectations of Ribbon or ECI will be realized. Consequences of material differences in results as compared with those anticipated in the forward-looking statements could include, among other things, business disruption, operational problems, financial loss, legal liability to third parties and similar risks, any of which could have a material adverse effect on Ribbon’s or ECI’s consolidated financial condition, results of operations or liquidity. You should carefully consider the foregoing factors and the other risks and uncertainties that affect the parties’ businesses, including those described in Ribbon’s Annual Report on Form 10-K/A, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and other documents filed from time to time with the SEC. We wish to caution you not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any of our forward-looking statements after the date they are made, whether as a result of any changes in circumstances or new information, future events or otherwise, except to the extent required by securities and other applicable law.