I love a good sunset. Watching the day end, the sky alight with brilliant yellows, reds, and orange, fading to pink and purple, then settling into dark blue as night comes on. Seriously, my favorite time of day… usually.
But there is one sunset I am dreading and that’s the sunset that will occur on June 30, 2023. That’s the day the sun sets on the career of one of my favorite telecom journalists Stephen Hardy as he retires from Lightwave and Broadband Technology Report and rides off into, well, the sunset.
I first met Stephen in 1999, when I was new to telecom and working for a company called Sycamore Networks. Stephen’s office, when we all still went into the office, was just up the road and across the border in New
Hampshire. I think it was my second or third day on the job when we met. I was head of the company’s IPO and what I remember most was how willing he was to help me get my bearings.
Now 24 years later, we’ve worked on hundreds of stories together, went to at least four baseball games, attended one concert, and swapped stories about lots of things outside of work, whether over a meal, coffee, or other things. He was also one of the first guests we had when Connect2 launched our podcast ConnectThe2 in 2017 where we flipped the switch and interviewed the reporters; this was back when we didn’t know if anyone would even listen to a podcast.
There are several great reporters in telecom, many of whom I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 20+ years, but Stephen will always stand out for his kindness, intelligence, knowledge, and the egoless way he worked. In a media landscape that was completely upended over the past two decades, Stephen was a stateman, someone that CEO’s, technologists, and product folks loved to talk with. He made everyone comfortable, could talk to all levels of tech, and put everyone at ease.
June 30th is coming up fast, that dreaded sunset when Stephen hands the reigns at Lightwave and Broadband Technology Report over to someone else.
Good luck in retirement, and I say with no regret, I kind of hope it doesn’t stick.