On the research side, Rittenhouse said China is producing innovative green technologies and efficient networks. Bell Labs' own research in China is focused on preparing low-cost networking products that can be deployed on a large-scale.
"I definitely feel the pressure of continuing the legacy (of Bell Labs) because it's extremely difficult," he said. "It's a recognized institution and there will be a lot of people disappointment if Bell Labs becomes like any other organization."
"But we can't go backwards, right?" he added. "So we have to create the leadership team here to create the next generation of Bell Laboratories."