& cplSiteName &

Gordon Stitt

Light Reading
Light Reading

Gordon Stitt, president, CEO, and chairman, Extreme The Light Reading Interview

In the Spotlight: Gordon Stitt, president, CEO, and chairman, Extreme Networks

In the often staid world of networking, any company that embraces bathroom humor, encases its products in deep purple plastic, and keeps a bottle of tequila in its conference room might be labeled a bit extreme.

Of course, when the company calls itself Extreme Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: EXTR), all the above fits right in.

At the helm of this operation is longtime networking veteran Gordon Stitt, who in a previous life was a founder of Network Peripherals, a pioneer in the field of network switching. Five years ago, Stitt, along with Stephen Haddock and Herb Schneider (also Network Peripherals veterans), started Extreme, betting that Ethernet switches could do the work of routers, more quickly and at a lower cost.

So far, the company's plan has been a success, as Extreme claims to have sold product to support 3 million Ethernet ports, making it a leader in the Layer 3 switch market. But as Extreme looks to expand into new markets -- especially those outside its large-enterprise comfort zone -- Stitt might be wise to keep the salt and limes nearby.

Competitively, Extreme faces challenges from above and below. Its main foe is Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), which Extreme says it sees head-to-head in 80 percent of its potential deals -- something like playing the Yankees four days out of five. Extreme, with just 1,000 or so employees, knows it can't be Cisco, so it must find other ways to compete with the giant.

On the startup side, Extreme has competition from Foundry Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: FDRY) and Riverstone Networks (Nasdaq: RSTN), though it faces them with confidence. Extreme's swagger is reinforced by internal marketing messages in the company's men's room – where plastic urinal screens have the words "Foundry Networks" printed on them, and a poster above the urinal proclaims: "Riverstone Networks – You're Soaking in it." (The poster also contains some product-comparison stats, as well as a warning: "Don't fall in.")

Extreme's corporate sense of humor could come in handy in the near future, as the company tries to push into tougher-sell markets (like the metro service-provider arena) while weathering the public-market meltdown.

Fiscally, Extreme will stick to its guns in not offering vendor financing, instead looking for deep-pocketed customers who are fully funded. Internally, Extreme shows restraint by eschewing fancy espresso machines in favor of a popcorn wagon in its kitchen – more in line with what one employee calls the "cold pizza and diet coke" culture of a company named after its founder's love for extreme skiing.

The 44-year-old Stitt, who isn't afraid to wear a deep purple, logoed, button-down shirt to an interview, says he's still excited by the promise of high-speed networking, a rush that makes his job more fun than anything else he could imagine.

Read on as Gordon Stitt explains his extreme thinking on:

Acquisitions and Wall Street
Strategic investment and the funding crunch
Standards, the market, and the competition
Ethernet, wineries, and the future

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 8:32:27 PM
re: Gordon Stitt
Why bother posting? If LR disagrees with you, they delete your post as they have many of mine.
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 8:32:25 PM
re: Gordon Stitt
"Why bother posting? If LR disagrees with you, they delete your post as they have many of mine"

Why did they do that? Were you posting derogatory comments, profanity etc? You are making a very serious accusation, so you should feel obliged to back it up.
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
Shades of Ray
Why Analytics Is the Tech World's Digital Glue

3|27|17   |   02:20   |   (0) comments

It was obvious at the massive annual CeBIT enterprise tech trade show that the foundation for tech innovation right now is real-time analytics.
LRTV Custom TV
CommScope – Meeting the Demands of Tomorrow's Networks

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments

Phil Sorksy, Vice President International at CommScope, discusses addressing the challenges faced by service providers today, and as future trends emerge.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
AMS-IX & Huawei's OSN 902

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments

Huawei shows how its OSN 902 platform helps the Amsterdam Internet exchange to connect the world using multiplexing.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Smart Energy Innovation Center

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments

In Nuremberg, Huawei showcases its latest capabilities in the digitalization of Internet resources, network infrastructure and intelligence at its Smart Energy Innovation Center.
Valley Wonk
OFC & Hyperscale: A Good Mix?

3|24|17   |   01:50   |   (0) comments

Cloud and telecom players want different types of equipment for their networks, as the chatter at OFC reveals.
LRTV Custom TV
Etisalat on NFV Journey

3|24|17   |   10:37   |   (0) comments

Etisalat is a service provider that prides itself on bringing innovative technologies to the markets it serves. It was one of the first operators to implement 3G and leads the pack in fiber penetration. Now, Esmaeel Al Hammadi, Etisalat's SVP of Network Development, explains the operator's journey to virtualization, beginning with the network core, as well as the ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at CeBIT 2017: Day 3

3|22|17   |     |   (0) comments

Light Reading reports from CeBIT 2017 in Germany, where Huawei is exhibiting on the application of technologies and key business verticals such as transportation, smart city, manufacturing, media and finance.
LRTV Documentaries
No Regrets: Cox's Finkelstein on Fiber & More

3|22|17   |     |   (0) comments

At the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies event in Denver, Cox's Jeff Finkelstein examines the cable capex conundrum.
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Next-Gen: The 'Mile High' View From Denver

3|22|17   |   11:56   |   (0) comments

Alan Breznick kicks off the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies event in Denver, casting his thousand-yard stare over cable's current competitive landscape.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at CeBIT 2017: Day 2

3|21|17   |   2:27   |   (0) comments

Light Reading reports from CeBIT 2017 in Germany, where Huawei is exhibiting digital transformation solutions around IoT, smart data centers, OpenCloud ecosystem and its newly announced storage-as-a-service solution.
LRTV Custom TV
Driving Better Mobile Customer Experience While Transforming the Mobile Network

3|21|17   |   7:47   |   (0) comments

Light Reading talked to George McGregor of Citrix about the NetScaler Mobile Gateway - an intelligent traffic management solution which can markedly improve the customer experience provided by mobile operators, even when traffic is encrypted. Critical network services can be consolidated and virtualized using NetScaler. Because of the unique architecture, ...
LRTV Custom TV
Mastercard: What's Next for Mobile Payments?

3|21|17   |   7:49   |   (0) comments

2017 marks the fifth consecutive year for Mastercard at Mobile World Congress and it was a great time to reflect on the amazing advances the payments industry has made as well as discuss "What's Next' in the digital commerce future. We spoke to James Anderson, executive vice president of digital payments at MasterCard, about digital wallets to tokenization to ...
Upcoming Live Events
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
High-Band 5G: Let's Address the Range Question, Shall We?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 3/21/2017
Eurobites: A1, Nokia Turn It Up to 11
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 3/22/2017
FTTH No Slam Dunk for Cable
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/23/2017
Nokia & Facebook Push Undersea Fiber to 32 Tbit/s
Craig Matsumoto, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading, 3/21/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
At MWC 2017, Qualcomm's CTO Matt Grob talks to Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders about the progress being made in the development of the technologies and standards that will underpin 5G.
Animals with Phones
Neither Do We Click Here
Is that a prerequisite?
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.