Networking communications vendor Avaya Inc. has named Kevin Kennedy to the role of CEO, effective January 2009. Kennedy currently serves as CEO of JDS Uniphase Corp. and is a member of its board of directors.

Kennedy replaces Charles Giancarlo in the role. Giancarlo has been serving as acting CEO since longtime President and CEO Lou D’Ambrosio stepped down for medical reasons in June.

Kennedy will remain in his job with JDSU until he joins Avaya. Giancarlo will become chairman of the board at Avaya when Kennedy assumes the CEO position, the company said in a prepared statement.

“Kevin Kennedy brings to Avaya a deep understanding of the enterprise communications industry and extensive senior management experience,” said Charles Giancarlo, president and CEO, Avaya, in a prepared statement.

Before joining JDS Uniphase, Kennedy served as COO of Openwave Systems. He also spent eight years at Avaya’s larger rival, Cisco, including a stint as senior vice president of the Service Provider Line of Business and Software Technologies division.

Kennedy also spent 17 years with AT&T Bell Labs. In 1987 he served as a congressional fellow to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

He sits on the bards of Polycom and KLA-Tencor.

He holds a B.S. in engineering from Pennsylvania’s Lehigh University and M.S. and PhD degrees in engineering from Rutgers University.