Wellfleet Communications

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Wellfleet Communications Inc.
IndustryNetworking equipment
FateMerged with SynOptics Communications
SuccessorBay Networks
FoundedJune 1986
DefunctOctober 1994
HeadquartersBillerica, Massachusetts, US
Key people
CEO Paul Severino

Wellfleet Communications was an Internet router company founded in 1986 by Paul Severino, Bill Seifert, Steven Willis and David Rowe based in Bedford, Massachusetts, and later Billerica, Massachusetts. In an attempt to more effectively compete with Cisco Systems, its chief rival, it merged in October, 1994 with SynOptics Communications of Santa Clara, California to form Bay Networks in a deal worth US$ 2.7B.[1][2] Bay Networks would in turn be acquired by Nortel in June, 1998 for US$ 9.1B.[3]

Wellfleet was ranked the fastest-growing company in the United States by Fortune Magazine in both 1992 and 1993.[4] Wellfleet sold routers.[5]

Wellfleet also emphasized on support of the up-and-coming Internet Protocol. In 1991, Cisco led the global multi-protocol router market with a 51% share, whereas Wellfleet was third with only 9% market share.[6] By 1993, Wellfleet had grown to a 14% market share, second only to Cisco's 50%.[7] Wellfleet concluded the best way to gain strategic positioning over Cisco would be to merge with hub manufacturer SynOptics.[8] By combining these technologies, the joined companies could provide their customers with common product interfaces and network management tools.[9]

The resulting merged company, Bay Networks (named as such because Wellfleet was based in Boston, Massachusetts and SynOptics in San Francisco, California, two classic bay cities).


  1. ^ John Markoff (July 6, 1994). "COMPANY NEWS; Wellfleet and Synoptics Plan $2.7 Billion Computer Union". New York Times. Retrieved March 19, 2011.
  2. ^ Jesus Sanchez (July 6, 1994). "Wellfleet, SynOptics to Join Forces". Los Angeles Time. Retrieved March 19, 2011.
  3. ^ "Nortel Buys Bay Networks For $9.1Bil". Computergram International. 1998.
  4. ^ Wellfleet enters carrier access switch market. Network World. 30 August 1993. p. 11. Retrieved 6 Dec 2011.
  5. ^ 3Com returns to roots with focus on LAN, internetwork devices. Network World. 10 February 1992. p. 10. Retrieved 22 Dec 2012.
  6. ^ Router, hub vendors ink accords. Computerworld. 27 April 1992. p. 8. Retrieved 28 Dec 2012.
  7. ^ Remote router IQ rises. Computerworld. 11 April 1994. p. 12. Retrieved 28 Dec 2012.
  8. ^ Wellfleet/SynOptics deal opens up some intriguing possibilities. Network World. 14 July 1994. p. 1. Retrieved 22 Dec 2012.
  9. ^ Wellfleet and SynOptics plan blockbuster merger. Network World. 11 July 1994. p. 1. Retrieved 22 Dec 2012.

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