Joe Cumello has a passion for solving network providers’ digital transformation challenges through disruptive software automation.
Joe has always been an evangelist for Blue Planet and is deeply familiar with its rich history and business, having re-joined Ciena through the company’s acquisition of Cyan, where he was a member of the management team that introduced Blue Planet to the industry. He helped to establish the Blue Planet brand globally and traveled the world selling the power of SDN and NFV orchestration (disruptive topics at that time) to customers across many industries.
“It feels like I’m ‘getting back to my roots’ and I couldn’t be more excited because we are at an important inflection point for Blue Planet,” he says.
As Ciena’s senior vice president and general manager for Blue Planet, Joe is relentlessly focused on driving the next phase of growth for Blue Planet. “Our mission in Blue Planet is to help network operators automate the service lifecycle to create incredible customer experiences, improve operational agility, reduce costs, and accelerate digital transformation.”
The industry is constantly in a state of disruption, and Joe is caffeine incarnate. In his previous role, Joe led all global marketing, brand, and communications initiatives at Ciena. He stayed in touch with customers, influencers, employees, analysts, partners, and consultants across the globe. This ensured that he was always up-to-speed on new customer use cases, business drivers, and challenges. Joe and his marketing team then focused on positioning Ciena’s solutions to better meet the needs of a rapidly changing telecommunications landscape in constant demand for innovation.
When it comes to serving in leadership roles, Joe feels strongly about the importance of building great teams through a focus on culture. “We have an amazing corporate culture,” he says. “Ciena is all about candor, transparency, and honesty. There’s a real set of core values infused into the company culture that you just don’t see elsewhere.”
The quality he values most in a business leader is transparency. “I’m really passionate about keeping things as open as possible, whenever possible,” he says. “The more people know about where the company is going and how it plans to get there, the better. Information in the hands of a few doesn’t help the business. Relevant information should be rapidly distributed so that everyone makes better and faster decisions.”
He was born and raised in New York until his family moved to Maryland when he was 16. He later received a degree in English from the University of Maryland.
On weekends, Joe says, his teenage daughters keep him busy. He and his wife enjoy travel, exercise, and they’ve even dabbled in wine-making.