Bill Gartner

Senior Vice President/GM

Optical Systems & Optics Group

Bill Gartner is Senior Vice President and General Manager of Cisco’s Optical Systems and Optics business within the Mass-Scale Infrastructure Group. In this role, he leads business strategy and development efforts for Cisco’s multibillion-dollar portfolio that includes Optical Systems, Optics, and next-generation architectures (e.g., Routed Optical Networking) that employ pluggable optics. Bill is known for his passion for technology and vision for groundbreaking solutions that help Service Providers and Webscale customers build world-class networks that maximize capacity, flexibility, scalability, and operational efficiencies – all integral to the Internet for the Future. Bill is also a champion of mentoring and career development of female leaders in technology. Throughout his career, Bill has earned a reputation for building trusted customer and business partnerships, with a focus on growth and innovation. Prior to joining Cisco, Bill was Chief Operating Officer of Meriton Networks (acquired by Xtera Networks). Before that, he served as President and COO of Mahi Networks and COO of Photuris. Previously, he was Vice President and General Manager of Lucent's Optical Networking Systems business, responsible for Metro, Access, and Long Haul DWDM products. His earlier tenure in the industry included roles at AT&T Bell Labs and Paradyne. Bill has served on the boards of OptronX (acquired by JDSU) and CyOptics. Bill holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University, and an executive master’s degree in Technology Management from University of Pennsylvania/Wharton. He is a University of Pennsylvania Moore Fellow and holds three patents.


February 27, 2019


Cisco and Verizon to Demonstrate the Benefit of Multi-Haul Transport

Cisco partnered with Verizon to demonstrate the benefits of the granular control of our NCS 1004 in a real-world environment.

September 12, 2018


Network Modernization: A TDM to IP Solution Webinar and White Paper

Join us on Sept. 13, 2018 for our Network Modernization: A TDM to IP Solution webinar and download the white paper. Cisco, Heavy Reading and Verizon have teamed up to show you how CEM can be used for SONET/SDH migration today.

Cisco Named Optical Network Market Leader by IHS

Cisco continues to be on the leading edge, driving optical industry innovation for our customers. Today, I’m pleased to announce that we have achieved the ranking of Optical Network Market Leader in the 2018 IHS Market Technology Vendor Scorecard.

Cisco Spring PONC Hits the Mark Following a Successful OFC

We are helping our customers navigate a changing landscape, and PONC presents a unique opportunity to gather Cisco executives with industry experts for this two-day interactive event where presentations, panels, discussions, and highly informative breakouts take place.

January 26, 2018


Verizon Achieves Technical Milestone with Cisco Solution

Solutions such as MPLS and circuit emulation are helping carriers like Verizon push the technology envelope and future proof networks.

December 5, 2017


Fall PONC a Resounding Success in Rome, Italy

Cisco Italy PONC: invigorating experience covering from trends and network modernization to disaggregation and analyst market updates

October 31, 2017


Maximizing Network Infrastructure Using Flexible Light Orchestration of Wavelengths

Data demands are on the rise, and service providers are looking for ways to maximize their networks. By using a new, flexible control plane, the software-driven network lets providers adjust their bandwidth automatically and take a proactive approach to the typical tradeoffs that exist between capacity and distance in the optical network.

Transport Modernization Can Help Service Providers Achieve Massive Footprint Savings

Before heading to OFC 2017, Bill Gartner connects with Verizon’s Vice President of Network Planning, Lee Hicks to get his perspective on Verizon’s network modernization plans.