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Nov 09, 2023
4 min read

Calix Debuts on Fortune’s 100 Fastest-Growing Companies List for 2023

For consistent and significant growth in revenue, profits, and stock return over three years, Calix earns recognition on the Fortune list of “100 Fastest-Growing Companies” for 2023

SAN JOSE, CA—November 9, 2023—Calix, Inc.(NYSE: CALX) made its debut on Fortune’s 38th annual “100 Fastest-Growing Companies” list for 2023, ranking 82nd based on growth in revenue, profits, and stock returns. All companies named to the list have delivered an average annual return of 42 percent to their shareholders and outperformed the S&P 500’s annual return of 15 percent over a three-year period through June 2023. Each of the fastest-growing companies reflects steady and continuous growth over multiple years, indicative of leadership and expertise for their respective industries. Calix joins the list alongside technology leaders such as Tesla and Nvidia.


Calix was founded in the United States 24 years ago by the current board chairman, Carl Russo, with an initial strategic focus on serving rural American broadband service providers (BSPs). This conscious strategy has ensured that the company builds products to reflect the innovation in rural America that Russo admires while enabling Calix to transform the service provider industry as he did previously with Cerent, which was sold to Cisco for $6.9 billion in 1999.


“By starting the company focused on the needs of rural America, Calix has avoided the pitfalls and myopia that are common when start-ups build for a single large customer,” said Michael Weening, president and chief executive officer at Calix. “The Calix broadband platform was built to serve the market and BSPs of all sizes. The platform serves Verizon, who sole-sourced their next-generation network to Calix—which will address the needs of tens of millions of subscribers with operational savings as high as 80 percent a month—while also enabling the success of much smaller BSPs. A great example is Cumberland Connect, in Clarksville, Tennessee, who is leveraging the platform to transform their business for tens of thousands of subscribers, to grow the communities they serve by delivering exceptional experiences, as evidenced by their incredible Net Promoter Score℠ (NPS®) of +90.


Twelve years ago, Russo set Calix on a disruptive path to transform from a network hardware company into a software and cloud platform company. “Russo foresaw the disruption that is currently engulfing the broadband industry,” said Weening. “Today, legacy network operators measure success by homes passed and use broadband speed as their go-to-market strategy. That is not a winning playbook. Calix- partnered BSPs are leveraging our $1.2 billion, 12-year investment in our platform and growing portfolio of managed services to disrupt the market through a new business model that is winning. We call this the ‘Transform Your Community’ playbook.”


BSPs are leveraging the Calix broadband platform and “Transform Your Community” playbook to: 

  • Simplify their business, yielding record operating margins and time to market, as evidenced by Tombigbee Fiber. Founded during the global pandemic by the 90-year-old Tombigbee Electric Power Association, Tombigbee Fiber embraced the complete Calix broadband platform to become cash-flow positive in just two years—versus the seven-to-12-year norm—while achieving seven-figure monthly profitability in their third year. They quickly embraced managed services, launching Bark in only 14 days to protect children in their communities from digital dangers like cyberbullying, a custom integration that would have taken one to two years in a legacy model. As a result, Tombigbee Fiber has achieved a stunning NPS of +91 in an industry that commonly sees single-digit or negative scores.

  • Excite their subscribers by leveraging a rapidly expanding portfolio of managed services fully integrated for the Calix platform. Each managed service works seamlessly with all Calix GigaPro™ and Calix GigaSpire® BLAST systems—making up the industry’s largest portfolio of Wi-Fi systems. The Calix platform allows the BSP to meet the needs of residential, business, local government, and community subscribers by mixing and matching Wi-Fi systems and SmartLife™ offerings—encompassing SmartHome™SmartTown™SmartBiz™SmartMDU™, and ManagedBiz™—to transform the entire community. The power of this transformative business model is evidenced by Hunter Communications, which has achieved a 4.8 out of 5 Google star rating (when legacy competitors are as low as 1.1), and ALLO Communications, which has achieved an incredible NPS of +73 in residential.

  • Grow for their investors and members. By investing in the end-to-end Calix broadband platform, Lumos has achieved 67 percent year-over-year growth with an NPS of +75 and remains on track to connect one million homes over the next five years. Meanwhile, cooperative United Fiber returned $9 million to their cooperative members after decades of financial struggles. Similarly, Gibson Connect is transforming the 13th poorest region in America into a thriving community for generations to come. Finally, the financial success of Tombigbee Fiber enabled them to further invest in their community by leveraging SmartTown to cover nine local football fields with Wi-Fi.

The Calix transformation to a platform company was completed in 2022, solidly placing the company in a unique position to enable BSPs of all sizes to disrupt legacy network operators and transform the communities they serve at an opportune time. In the coming years, the U.S. government will provide more than $60 billion in funding to transform rural America with broadband connectivity. This funding is designated to drive growth for exactly the kind of rural and regional businesses that Calix has partnered with for decades.


The power of the Calix broadband platform and managed services model has been evidenced in the company’s ongoing fiscal results. In Q3 2023, Calix delivered record revenue (the 10th consecutive quarter of sequential revenue growth) and record GAAP gross margin (highlighted by the fifth consecutive quarter of sequential gross margin expansion), and beat earnings per share (EPS) expectations.


Of note, with the revenue guidance included in its October 23, 2023, stockholder letter, Calix is on track to organically grow annual revenue past $1 billion in fiscal 2023, a milestone that only 1 in 400 companies achieve.


“I decided to leave Salesforce and join Calix seven years ago—halfway through its transformation from a hardware company to a platform company—based on the customer-centric, purpose-driven culture and Carl’s vision of the broadband industry’s inevitable disruption,” said Weening. “Legacy network operators who believe in the homes passed goal and that a fast broadband speed will win are failing as they come up against Calix platform-enabled BSPs who are changing the game—the essence of a disruption. These BSPs are leveraging our platform to serve their entire community—residential, business, education, and local government—and deliver results that have never been seen in the broadband industry before. Those results include incredibly high NPS scores of 80 and 91, which are typical for Calix customers but uncommon industrywide, where such scores are usually in the single or negative digits; homes and businesses connected by percentages of 50, 60, or even 70; and repeatable margin growth and record cash flow. The Calix broadband platform and managed services model works by enabling the Calix ‘Transform Your Community’ playbook that we have developed in partnership with our innovative BSP customers. We are proud that we are living our purpose—making these BSPs and the communities they serve wildly successful. Best of all, we are just getting started.”


Calix was recently named one of the Top 10 Businesses in America (innovation category) by the CEO Forum Group. To understand the Calix journey to this point, read the interview with Michael Weening in CEO Forum Magazine.

About Calix
This press release contains forward-looking statements that are based upon management’s current expectations and are inherently uncertain. Forward-looking statements are based upon information available to us as of the date of this release, and we assume no obligation to revise or update any such forward-looking statement to reflect any event or circumstance after the date of this release, except as required by law. Actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from current expectations based on risks and uncertainties affecting Calix’s business. The reader is cautioned not to rely on the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. Additional information on potential factors that could affect Calix’s results and other risks and uncertainties are detailed in its quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC and available at

Calix and the Calix logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Calix and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. A listing of Calix’s trademarks can be found at Third-party trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners.

Net Promoter®, NPS®, NPS Prism®, and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld. Net Promoter Score℠ and Net Promoter System℠ are service marks of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld.


Calix, Inc. (NYSE: CALX)— Calix is a cloud and appliance-based platform and managed services company. Broadband service providers leverage the Calix broadband platform, cloud, and managed services to simplify operations, engagement, and service, innovate for their consumer, business, and municipal subscribers, and grow their business and the communities they serve.  
Our end-to-end platform and managed services democratize the use of data enabling our customers of any size to operate efficiently, acquire subscribers, and deliver exceptional experiences. Calix is dedicated to driving continuous improvement in partnership with our growing ecosystem to support the transformation of our customers and their communities.

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