ComNet hires new president

IFS vet Andrew Acquarulo comes back to work with old boss Lichtblau
Thursday, January 7, 2010

DANBURY, Conn.—Still nascent fiberoptic and Ethernet product manufacturer ComNet has hired what it’s calling the “final piece” of its management staff, Andrew Acquarulo, who’s now the company’s president and chief operating officer under CEO George Lichtblau. Acquarulo comes most recently from GE Security, which bought Lichtblau’s IFS, and where Acquarulo served as president and COO of International Fiber Systems.

Why the switch? “Basically, I’ve been working with George since 1986,” he said. “I was the first employee hired for IFS.” Lichtblau left the industry for five years as part of a non-compete clause in the transaction with GE Security, and returned to open ComNet last year. “Once you start looking at what ComNet’s Vision is, the overall strategy, it’s a golden opportunity to take ComNet to the next level, and to lead a very innovative company and make it a global presence.”

What’s so innovative about ComNet?

“The biggest thing,” he said, “is that when you look at the fiberoptics companies, greater than 90 percent of them are stagnated. They’re coming out with technology that’s 20 years old, just point to point and that’s it. They’re not embracing Ethernet and what it can do to a network. It has its drawbacks, of course, and that’s why I think ComNet is offering such unique hybrid solutions ... We’ve overcome problems of getting the Ethernet up and running.”

Did the GE sale have an impact on his decision to join ComNet? “Yes,” he said. “I was basically for the last year doing things outside of the industry, after I left GE. To come back to security, there were a couple of factors. One was the opportunity to run ComNet. But the other is that I think more turmoil can come about when large companies get bought, and it gives the entrepreneur the opportunity to do what’s right for the customer and the industry, and that was definitely part of my decision.”