CIENA Chief Executive Officer Patrick Nettles Named Chairman of the Board, Chief Operating Officer Gary Smith Becomes President

CIENA Chief Executive Officer Patrick Nettles Named Chairman of the Board, Chief Operating Officer Gary Smith Becomes President

Business Editors

LINTHICUM, Md.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Oct. 19, 2000

CIENA Corporation (NASDAQ:CIEN) today announced that it has named Chief Executive Officer Patrick H. Nettles as Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Gary B. Smith, currently CIENA’s Chief Operating Officer, will assume the role of President and Chief Operating Officer, effective immediately. Smith also was elected to CIENA’s Board of Directors.

As a leader in intelligent optical networking systems, CIENA enables service providers worldwide to simplify their networks, lower capital costs and reduce operating expenses while delivering new revenue-generating services. Nettles, as Chairman and CEO, and Smith, as President and COO, together with CIENA’s seasoned management team, will work to deliver continued customer and shareholder value.

“We have always asserted that CIENA’s key to success lies within the strength of its people. Under Gary’s leadership as Senior Vice President and COO, CIENA has thrived in an intensely competitive optical networking market, making steady strides in new markets and global accounts,” Nettles said. “His knowledge and experience with service providers around the world give him the insight to help solve our customers’ business challenges and help them find new opportunities. We are pleased that Gary has accepted the additional roles of President and Director.”

Nettles has served as CIENA’s CEO and Director since February 1994, and as Director, President and CEO since April 1994. He serves as a Trustee for the California Institute of Technology and also serves on the Advisory Board to the President at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Nettles assumes the role of Chairman of the Board, which was left vacant upon the departure of former Chairman, Jon Bayless, in March 1999.

Smith, a 20-year veteran of the telecommunications industry, has held a number of senior marketing and management appointments, including extensive international experience in both Asia and Europe. Prior to joining CIENA in 1997 as Vice President, International Sales, Smith was with CASE Communications and was Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Marketing at INTELSAT.

ABOUT CIENA

CIENA Corporation’s market-leading optical networking systems form the core for the new era of networks and services worldwide. CIENA’s LightWorks(TM) architecture enables next-generation optical services and changes the fundamental economics of service-provider networks by simplifying the network and reducing the cost to operate it. Additional information about CIENA can be found at http://www.ciena.com.

NOTE TO INVESTORS

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements based on current expectations, forecasts and assumptions of CIENA (the Company) that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements in this release are based on information available to the Company as of the date hereof. The Company’s actual results could differ materially from those stated or implied in such forward-looking statements, due to risks and uncertainties associated with the Company’s business, which include the risk factors disclosed in the Company’s Report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on August 17, 2000.

Forward looking statements include statements regarding the Company’s expectations, beliefs, intentions or strategies regarding the future and can be identified by forward looking words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “should,” “will,” and “would” or similar words. The Company assumes no obligation to update the information included in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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