The Optical Networking and Communication
Conference & Exhibition

San Diego Convention Center,
San Diego, California, USA

OIDA VIP Industry Leaders Participating Executives


Shamim Akhtar, Chief Optical Network Architect, Apple

Shamim Akhtar has been in optical networking industry for over 2 decades covering every facets of optical networks from broadband access, transport to warehouse scale data centers. Shamim has played key role in the transformation of optical industry across the world. During his long stint at Comcast Shamim architected and laid the key foundation of fiber deep HFC/Docsis network and commoditized DWDM transport network unit cost through multi-vendor interop. Shamim, currently leads the optical networking domain of Apple’s global network and Data Centers. His insight into the photonics/broadband technologies has helped shape many companies and standards bodies for several years. 


Robert Blum, Director of Strategic Marketing and Business Development, Intel

Robert Blum is Director of Strategic Marketing and Business Development for Intel’s Silicon Photonics Product Division. Prior to joining Intel, Robert was Director of Strategic Marketing at Oclaro Inc., and held various Director of Product Management and Marketing roles for Oclaro’s telecommunications products and consumer laser portfolio. Before joining Oclaro, Robert was Product Line Manager for optical transmission components at JDS Uniphase Corporation and held various engineering and marketing management roles at Gemfire Corporation, all in California. Robert worked at Deutsche Telekom’s research labs in Darmstadt, Germany, while completing his master’s thesis and holds a doctorate degree in Physics from the University of Technology in Hamburg. He has also studied and done research at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale in Lausanne, Switzerland, and at Stanford University, California.


Eve Griliches, Sr. Product Marketing, Optical BU, Cisco Systems

Eve Griliches is the Product Marketing lead for the Optical BU. Previously, Eve was Director of Solutions Marketing at BTI Systems and Managing Partner of the global research firm ACG Research where she was VP of Optical Networking.

Before ACG, Eve served as IDC Program Director for Telecommunications Equipment, where she provided in-depth analysis on key telecom market technologies. Additionally, Eve has more than 10 years of product line management experience at equipment vendors including Marconi (Ericsson), PhotonEx, Nortel Networks, Bay Networks and Wellfleet Communications. She also spent four years at Thinking Machines Corporation, one of the first parallel processing supercomputer companies.


Michael Zammit, Vice President & General Manager, Go!Foton

Michael Zammit is Vice President and General Manager at Go!Foton Corporation in Somerset, NJ where he is responsible for the Connectivity Business Unit.  Although an engineer by training, Michael is an accomplished global business development and telecom management executive with a broad perspective for identifying and growing strategic business opportunities.  Most recently, Michael was Managing Director of the Network & Product Integrity Group at Telcordia Technologies where his lab team was responsible for developing and publishing performance requirements and standards for passive optical components as well as related outside plant, access network products and technologies.   Prior to Telcordia, Michael was a founding member and Vice President of Advanced Broadband, LLC; a division of Toll Brothers, Inc (NYSE: TOL) which provided private broadband services to luxury gated communities and MDUs nationwide before its acquisition by Comcast.   While at Toll Brothers, Michael was responsible for all aspects of business operations including the design, engineering and construction of CATV and datacom headends as well as HFC and FTTH distribution networks.

Michael earned his BS and MS degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University and MIT, respectively.


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