Corning reorganizes operating structure, promotes Michael A. Bell to lead Optical Communications business

April 9, 2020
Bell has been with Corning since 1991 when he joined as a process engineer. Clark S. Kinlin, who currently leads the Optical Communications business, will retire after a transition period.
Michael A. Bell, senior vice president, general manager, Corning Optical Communications
Michael A. Bell, senior vice president, general manager, Corning Optical Communications

On April 8, Corning announced it is reorganizing its operating structure into one that aligns executive management and business teams around five market access platforms (MAPs): Mobile Consumer Electronics, Optical Communications, Automotive, Life Sciences, and Display.

“By organizing around the MAPs, we’re positioning Corning to capture more customer insights, further leverage our distribution channels, and open up new opportunities for innovation with industry leaders,” said Wendell P. Weeks, the company’s chairman and chief executive officer. “The new structure allows us to drive growth by activating the full power of our cohesive portfolio.”

As part of the new organization, Corning created the position of chief operating officer (COO) and named Eric S. Musser to the expanded role of president and COO. Musser is a 34-year veteran of the company. “I’m pleased that Eric Musser is assuming this important new role,” Weeks continued. “He’s a transformative leader with a strong track record of executive across the company, and his expertise and industry knowledge will enhance our performance. Eric’s demonstrated ability to consistently executive and hit targets will benefit our five MAPs.”

The five MAPs will report to Musser, who also will continue to oversee Corning’s international regions and the global manufacturing and supply-management functions.

Michael A. Bell has been named senior vice president and general manager of the Optical Communications MAP. In this new role, Bell has end-to-end responsibility for business areas including optical connectivity solutions, optical fiber and cable, and optical commercial operations. Clark S. Kinlin, currently executive vice president of Optical Communications, previously had declared his intention to retire from Corning, and will do so later this year after a transition period.

Bell has been senior vice president and general manager, optical connectivity solutions, for Corning Optical Communications since 2012. He joined Corning in 1991 as a process engineer for the telecommunications plant in Hickory, NC. He subsequently held a number of positions in manufacturing and engineering. In 2001 he took a leadership position as program manager and established the Japanese equity company Advanced Cable Systems. In 2004 he was appointed cable manufacturing manager for Corning Cable Systems Americas—a role that expanded to include hardware manufacturing in 2009.

In 2011, Bell established Corning Cable Systems global product line management, and in 2012 was appointed senior vice president and general manager, optical connectivity solution, for Corning Optical Communications. He holds an MBA from UNC Chapel Hill and a BS in electrical engineering from West Virginia University; he served as a submarine warfare officer in the U.S. Navy.

“Corning’s MAPs are built to serve well-defined market ecosystems,” the company said when announcing the new structure. “Within each MAP, the company applies a combination of three core capabilities and four manufacturing and engineering platforms to bring value to current and future customers. The MAPs also provide a strong growth mechanism for Corning, creating opportunities to reapply and reuse assets and capabilities developed for customers in one market-ecosystem to serve customers in another. This strategy has contributed significantly to Corning’s strong performance over the last few years, and the reorganization is designed to unlock new opportunities for valuable synergies.”

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