F5’s new CEO, who is moving to the Seattle company from Ciena, a telecommunications networking business in Maryland, will take the position April 3.

Share story

Seattle-based F5 Networks has named a new CEO, more than a year after longtime executive John McAdam stepped back into the role in a surprise leadership shake-up.

François Locoh-Donou will take over as president and CEO on April 3. Locoh-Donou is currently the chief operating officer of Ciena, a telecommunications networking company.

“His track record at Ciena demonstrates he possesses the foresight and leadership to execute major market transitions, without compromising the best of a company’s technical heritage or strong organizational culture,” McAdam said of his successor in a statement.

F5 had hired Manny Rivelo as the company’s chief executive in 2015, a few months after McAdam announced his plans to retire from the company. In December of that year, just months after Rivelo took the position, the company said he had resigned because of reasons related to “personal conduct.”

Most Read Business Stories

Unlimited Digital Access. $1 for 4 weeks.

The company has been searching for a new executive ever since.

Locoh-Donou has served in various executive roles at Hanover, Md.-based Ciena since 2002, and previously worked at Photonetics, a French company. He also serves on the board of a nonprofit affiliate of Johns Hopkins University that focuses on bringing health- care services to women in developing countries. He was trained as an engineer and has an MBA from Stanford.

Locoh-Donou will be paid a $750,000 salary and will be eligible for an annual bonus up to $975,000. The company will also pay him a signing bonus of $800,000.

In an email to employees Monday, McAdam praised Locoh-Donou’s experience.

“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,” McAdam said. “Throughout the interview process, I was struck by his acumen as an engineer and his facility as a strategist.”

McAdam heralded F5’s return to product revenue growth in the company’s quarterly earnings report last week, when F5 reported a $94.2 million profit on $516 million in revenue.

The company, which helps businesses manage network traffic, introduced a line of cybersecurity products during its first quarter as it continues to push into software and security.

McAdam will remain a member of the board.