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updated: 6/27/2012 4:54 PM

Tellabs' Pullen hospitalized, acting CEO appointed

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  • Rob Pullen

    Rob Pullen


Tellabs Inc. CEO Rob Pullen underwent surgery for colon cancer and remains hospitalized as the Naperville-based company's board appointed an interim CEO, the company said Wednesday.

In a letter addressed to shareholders, employees and others, Chairman Michael J. Birck said Pullen is in stable condition and continuing treatment for his cancer. In the meantime, Dan Kelly has been appointed as acting president and CEO. Kelly has served as Tellabs executive vice president for global products since 2007. He joined Tellabs in 1985.

"We all wish Rob a quick and full recovery," Birck said.

In April, Pullen told company officials he hadn't felt well and had gone to the doctor. This reportedly was his first experience with any cancer. Since April, he had worked full-time and handled his regular schedule up until recently. They cannot predict when Pullen will return to work, Birck said in an email.

Pullen, 48, joined Tellabs in January 1985 as an electrical engineer and has held a series of increasingly responsible positions in research and development, sales, marketing, and services. He became CEO in February 2008.

Pullen has spoken at many industry forums on the development of global broadband full-service wireless and wireline networks to deliver the triple play of video, voice and data, the company website said.

Pullen has a master of business administration degree in management from Northwestern University with a focus on finance and marketing. He holds a bachelor's degree with an additional emphasis on physics from the University of Illinois. Pullen is the chairman emeritus of the executive board for the Telecommunications Industry Association.

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