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Ixia Hands Reins to NFV Star Mayer

Dan O'Shea

Test and measurement company Ixia is exiting a difficult stretch in its long history with a flourish. The vendor has hired leading NFV strategist Bethany Mayer away from HP to become Ixia's president and CEO.

The hiring comes as Ixia (Nasdaq: XXIA) also says it's becoming current with its SEC filings. Ixia has been through a rough year or so, which featured the ousting of former CEO Victor Alston over allegations he lied about his education and other resume facts. In a recent financial update, company chairman and acting CEO Errol Ginsberg said Ixia was close to naming a new permanent leader, and also said the company was pressing aggressively into NFV and SDN, having serious talks with customers about how Ixia can support their adoption strategies for these technologies. (See Ixia Names NFV Pioneer Mayer CEO, Ixia Aims to Name CEO, Cuts Jobs and Ixia Chief Fails Veracity Test .)

With NFV in mind, Mayer's hiring is as big a win for Ixia as it is a loss for HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ). As senior vice president and general manager of HP's NFV business, Mayer had become HP's "NFV champion" in recent months, says Heavy Reading analyst Roz Roseboro. A source also tells Light Reading Mayer was "viewed as a superstar within HP, so the news comes as a shock." Mayer is currently slated to speak at Light Reading's Women in Telecom Breakfast next month. (See HP Looks to Conquer Carriers With NFV and HP Preps Launch of NFV Unit – Report.)

Want to know more about NFV? Check out our dedicated NFV content channel here on Light Reading.

Though HP has been viewed by some as arriving late to the NFV party, its bonds with service provider customers, deep pockets and commitment to open standards have been seen as strengths. Can Mayer mobilize the resources of a smaller company to do the same for Ixia? (See HP Attempts NFV Surprise Despite Spoilers.)

— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading

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User Rank: Blogger
8/25/2014 | 11:24:34 PM
Re: Up or down?
I think that's true, Sam. I have not interviewed Mayer, nor do I know her personally, but I'm led to believe by what I'm hearing second hand about her ambition and personality that a CEO job would hold great appeal, regardless of the size of the pond.
sam masud
sam masud,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/22/2014 | 3:26:11 PM
Up or down?
Don't know why she'd leave the work of championing the NFV business of a big company like HP to taking the reins at Ixia, other than she now gets to call the shots. I guess she's now the biggest fish in a small pond, as opposed to being another big fish in a large pond.
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/22/2014 | 2:01:34 PM
Interesting Pedigree

considering everyone is going after NFV and SDN these days, the question is if one of CEO Mayer's tasks is to make XXIA appetitizing enough for a larger player. It is not likely, considering this is her first CEO gig but she does have a good history
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