STL names new CEO for optical networking business

03 September 2021 | Melanie Mingas

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STL has appointed a new CEO to replace Ankit Agarwal, who led the business through the acquisition of Optotec and Metallurgica Bresciana and increased STL’s scale and presence in Italy, the UK, US, Brazil and China.

Paul Atkinson, who joined the business effective Wednesday, was previously MD and group CEO of water treatment and chemical distribution firm IXOM, in Australia. Prior to that was CEO and MD of  Prysmian Cables and Systems and, before Prysmian Group, Atkinson held senior roles in commercial, finance and operations in the consumer goods and healthcare sectors.

Commenting on his new role, Atkinson said: “Digital networks are key to the 4th industrial revolution, where optical technologies are taking centre stage. With over 25 years of expertise, STL is expanding its scope and scaling globally. STL has the right expertise and ambition to service network creators across the globe. I am very excited to lead the Optical Networking business, which will shape the future digital landscape.”

Ankit Agarwal will remain as a full-time director on the STL board, with a focus on driving strategy and growth across STL.

he added: “Leading the optical business has been an incredible journey during which we became global and achieved many firsts. With STL accelerating its efforts in optical innovation, I welcome Paul who with his deep, global expertise will take the business to greater heights. As we look forward to a decade of network creation, I am excited about expanding my focus to drive STL's ambitious growth plans with disruptive strategies.”

Dr. Anand Agarwal, the group CEO of STL, also commented: “Optical connectivity and networks have always been our core and with Ankit at the helm, we have passionately put this business on the global map. I look forward to partnering with Ankit in the strategic growth of the company. I welcome Paul and wish him the best. I am confident that with his exceptional global experience, he will take the Optical Networking business to the next level.”