Akamai appoints Leighton as CEO in management reshuffle

CDN provider Akamai has announced a major management reshuffle with Tom Leighton taking the position of CEO effective January 1.

Leighton, who was previously co-founder and chief scientist at the company, replaces Paul Sagan who announced he would be stepping down in April.

The company has also appointed Robert Hughes as president of worldwide operations and Rick McConnell as president of products and development. Both are EVPs at Akamai and will also take their positions on January 1, serving under Leighton.

Both Leighton and Sagan will remain Akamai directors and Sagan will become a senior advisor to the company helping Leighton on business strategy and to ensure a smooth management transition.

“Akamai is extremely fortunate to have such an outstanding executive with Tom's business and technology experience to lead Akamai's next phase of growth," said Sagan. "He is an innovator with a deep understanding of the shifting landscape in public and private clouds, distributed computing platforms, and internet security.”

Leighton helped co-found Akamai in 1998 and has been responsible for the company’s technology vision. Akamai said that he has played a major role in the development of many of its product innovations, strategic accomplishments and technological breakthroughs.

He takes the helm during a significant period for Akamai, with the company having recently completed its acquisition of Verivue in a bid to speed up the time to market for its licensed CDN solution and entered into a strategic alliance with US giant AT&T.

Before founding Akamai Leighton was a professor of applied mathematics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a member of the institute’s computer science and artificial intelligence laboratory. He holds various patents in content delivery, internet protocols, network algorithms, distributed computing, cryptography and digital rights management.


From 2003 to 2005 Leighton served on the US President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee and chaired the Subcommittee on Cyber-security.

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