Former ShoreTel CEO Takes Top Post At Smart Grid Specialist

Grid Net focuses on device management software for 3G and 4G smart grid infrastructure that offers policy-based control, IP networking flexibility and application integration. It was founded in 2006 by Ray Bell, a former Cisco networking executive and CEO of Silver Spring, and now Grid Net's chief technical officer. Cisco, an active champion of smart grid technology as a business opportunity for networking companies, is one of the company's major investors.

The company launched the second generation of its smart grid OS, PolicyNet, in 2009, and in November 2010 released it in the U.S. market. PolicyNet supports Long Term Evolution (LTE) and various networking standards like Ethernet, 3G HSPA, 3G EV-DO, 4G WiMAX, ZigBee and HomePlug.

Combs will work closely with Bell and the Grid Net team to foster Grid Net's relationships with utility customers and solution partners around the world, the company said in a statement Thursday.

"I am thrilled to join Grid Net at such a pivotal moment in the evolution of the company," said Combs in a statement. "Our software has the unique ability to deliver value beyond any alternative in the market today, and we have all of the ingredients necessary to become the leader in this global industry."

Sponsored post

Combs became CEO of ShoreTel in 2004, a role he held until fall 2010. He presided over ShoreTel's emergence as an IP telephony and unified communications challenger, and also oversaw ShoreTel's 2007 IPO.

Peter Blackmore took over ShoreTel's top job last December, tasked with keeping up ShoreTel's substantial market momentum and channel gains. According to Synergy Research, ShoreTel has more than 10 percent share in the U.S. IP telephony market as of the second quarter of 2011, and has 5 percent of the global IP telephony market.