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Juniper Veteran Departs for SDN Startup

Craig Matsumoto

Kireeti Kompella has left Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) after 15 years.

Do the math, and you'll see that Kompella, who's been the chief technology officer of Juniper's Junos software, has been with the company almost since its founding in 1996. He's certainly one of Juniper's longest-tenured employees.

What finally got him to leave? Software-defined networking (SDN), of course. He's becoming chief technology officer at Santa Clara, Calif.-based SDN startup Contrail Systems , according to one source.

Contrail hasn't revealed anything about its products yet, but the company is staffed with former Cisco and Juniper employees. Contrail officials declined to comment for this story, and Juniper officials couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Moving from Juniper would appear to be a life-altering moment for Kompella. He's been there since 1997, during which time he's actively contributed to the IETF as one of the industry's top experts in MPLS. He's been in charge of Junos since 2009.

For more on Kompella -- and his brother Vach, whose employers included TiMetra Networks when it was acquired by Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) -- see Light Reading's 2003 profile: Juniper Enhances Its Edge.

— Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading

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Pete Baldwin
Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:21:28 PM
re: Juniper Veteran Departs for SDN Startup

This has got to be a life-altering moment for some folks at Juniper as well, no? The company will live on, of course, but it's always strange to see the departure of someone who's "always" been there.

User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:21:27 PM
re: Juniper Veteran Departs for SDN Startup

Not just there but other old school networking shops as well. Key talent at those organizations are going to take a moment to re-think their career direction. Tough times ahead for the legacy networking guys to retain talent.

Pete Baldwin
Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:21:26 PM
re: Juniper Veteran Departs for SDN Startup

Nooser -- absolutely! The remark I keep hearing is that "networking is FUN again." I think the SDN route looks attractive to a lot of people who've been in the business a long time.

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