Capping a year-long search, Seattle’s F5 Networks today announced that Francois Locoh-Donou, an engineer and former top network-technology executive, will become CEO and president effective April 3. He will also join the company’s board of directors.
Locoh-Donou will replace John McAdam, who became CEO in 2000, retired in 2015, and then stepped back into that position in December 2016 after the unexpected resignation of his replacement. The board had been searching since then for McAdam’s replacement.
McAdam will retire — again — upon Locoh-Donou’s assuming his post, but will remain a board member.
“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 . . . is his versatility,” McAdam wrote in a blog post today. “I was struck by his acumen as an engineer and his facility as a strategist. . . . 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.”
Locoh-Donou currently serves as senior VP and COO of Ciena, a network strategy and technology company based in Hanover, Md. He and his family will be relocating to Seattle, F5 said. A native of Togo, Locoh-Donou is involved with social entrepreneurship in his home country.
He also serves on the advisory board of Jhpiego, a non-profit health affiliate of Johns Hopkins University dedicated to providing health care for women and their families in developing countries. He holds engineering degrees from École Centrale de Marseille and Télécom ParisTech in France and a M.B.A. from Stanford.
Since McAdam joined F5, he has led the network-security and application-acceleration company to $2 billion in annual revenue, with 49 of the Fortune 50 as customers. In its first fiscal-2017 quarter ended Dec. 31, F5 posted revenue of $516 million and net income of $94.2 million.