John Shelnutt


John Shelnutt

CEO, President, and Board Member of Fortress Solutions

A growth-oriented leader managing businesses of over $2.5B per year by building teams of sales, engineering, and services professionals with a lifetime achievement of over $35B+ in net new revenue.  Success built on DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion), ability to anticipate and act on trends in supporting customer business priorities with actionable plans.  Strong belief in teamwork, mentoring, and forward thinking by being challenged and accepting challenges.

Mr. Shelnutt previously was an executive at start up Blue Danube Systems (BDS), acquired by NEC that designs intelligent wireless access solutions.  BDS was backed by Sequoia Capital, SilverLake, Stanford University, and AT&T.

Prior to joining BDS, Mr. Shelnutt served as the leader of Mobility for Cisco’s Service Provider group, providing mobility connections and infrastructure through platforms, software, analytics, and services to large-scale telecommunications companies. He also led the strategy and manage the P&L for Cisco’s largest customer generating up to $3B in annual sales.  At the CEO request, he co-led with the Cisco CTO a cross functional team in examining the strategy and investment balance of purpose-built ASICS vs. open NFV.

Before Cisco, Mr. Shelnutt spent 13 years at Alcatel (now part of Nokia). During this time, he was responsible for developing new markets for service providers in mobility, access, optical, SS7, analytics, switching and routing products with innovative technology and go to market strategies resulting in over $15B of new revenue. At Alcatel, he was point for their DSL business success and served on the Board of the DSL Forum (now Broadband Forum).  At the CEO request, he created and led a cross functional team called the IP Advocates with the outcome of creating an IP entry strategy that led to the TiMetra acquisition.

Mr. Shelnutt has also served on various boards within the telecommunications industry including the QuEST Forum, ATIS, Broadband Forum and was an advisor to Tech Titans of Dallas, Texas, and the City of New York Public Schools Technology group. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of ADDvantage Technologies (NASDAQ – AEY) and the Board of Trustees of his alma mater, Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, GA.  With a passion for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), Oglethorpe is excelling at offering students of broad backgrounds a small private school education in a big busy city.

Mr. Shelnutt lives in McKinney, TX with his wife, Kim, of 34 years. They have two married children and one spoiled grandchild.

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