Big Switch Recruits VP from Cisco
Another Cisco Systems Inc. software-defined networking (SDN) player has defected.
Big Switch Networks announced Monday that it's hired Prashant Gandhi to be vice president of product management for Big Switch's OpenFlow controller (including Floodlight, the open-source version) and its applications, such as Big Virtual Switch and Big Tap.
Gandhi had been a senior director of product management with Cisco's SDN effort, the Open Network Environment (ONE). He's leaving Cisco for the second time; he joined in 1999 and later left for three-and-a-half years to be CEO of Rohati Systems, which got acquired back into Cisco in 2009.
Why this matters
SDN means many things to many people, but let's face it: One of the things it means is a chance to upend Cisco's comfortable switch/router franchise. The departures don't necessarily mean people think Cisco is doomed. What they signify is the first serious chance in a long time to rewrite the rules of the networking industry. And a lot of people think rewriting the rules is more fun if you're working for the rebels' side. Two other SDN-related Cisco departures happened back in October: David Meyer, a Cisco distinguished engineer, left for Brocade Communications Systems Inc., and Tom Black, the vice president running Cisco's ONE, went to Arista Networks Inc. Big Switch has always had deep Cisco roots. Kyle Forster, one of the founders, was a Cisco executive. Big Switch's early investors included Charles Giancarlo, formerly of Cisco, and Index Ventures, where the participating partner was former Cisco exec Mike Volpi. And Tony Bates, president of Microsoft Corp.'s Skype division, is on Big Switch's board alongside Volpi. We should note that Cisco scored its own hiring coup in the other direction, late in 2011, recruiting Chief Architect David Ward out of Juniper Networks Inc. For more
- Cisco SDN Expert Leaves for Brocade
- Cisco SDN Exec Joins Arista
- Juniper Veteran Departs for SDN Startup