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Juniper Networks, the world’s second-biggest maker of data networking equipment, on Monday appointed the former chief executive of Macromedia, the software group, to the newly created role of chief operating officer.

Stephen Elop, most recently head of sales and customer service at Adobe Systems, which bought Macromedia in 2005, will lead Juniper’s sales, service, marketing and IT teams when he steps into his new role.

“With a COO of Stephen’s caliber, we will enhance our ability to focus and execute on a global scale,” said Scott Kriens, Juniper’s chief executive. “His energy, talent and alignment with our culture make Stephen an excellent fit for Juniper.”

Mr Elop also expressed excitement. “I believe in Scott’s vision for the company’s future and am eager to contribute everything I can to achieving those goals, starting today,” he said.

His appointment came weeks after Juniper said it would take a $900m charge resulting from options backdating. Juniper is among the biggest of more than 160 companies to have come under scrutiny for improperly dated stock options grants.

During his seven years at Macromedia, Mr Elop served in a variety of functions, including chief operating officer and head of field operations, in addition to serving as CEO.

Shares in Juniper, which is attempting to gain ground against Cisco Systems, the leader in the market for internet switches and routers, rose 1.5 per cent to $20.23 on Monday ahead of the announcement. The shares were unchanged in after-hours trading. They had risen from a low of $12.20 in August.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2018. All rights reserved.

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