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Bluesocket CEO Walks

Bluesocket Inc. 's latest CEO, Ralph Calistri, resigned his position at the wireless LAN startup yesterday, the company confirmed late this afternoon.

The Burlington, Mass.-based company says that Calistri left "to pursue other interests." The startup also took the opportunity to say that it has recently secured an additional $9 million in funding from existing investors, bringing its total VC pile to $51 million.

Jim Finucane -- Bluesocket's current VP of engineering -- will serve as interim president. Finucane previously headed up engineering at Way Systems and is said to have close ties to Bluesocket investor Vesbridge Partners LLC by sources familiar with the company.

The board of directors has initiated an active search for a new CEO for the company, and Finucane will also play an active role in the selection process, Bluesocket says in a statement released after Unstrung broke the news of Calistri's departure.

Bluesocket has been through executive upheavals before. Long-time CEO, Eric Janszen, left the company in January 2004, and was replaced by interim "executive chairman" Peter Smith while the firm searched for a permanent replacement. (See Bluesocket CEO Unplugged .)

The firm hired Calistri in August 2004 after a lengthy CEO hunt. (See Bluesocket's New Broom.)

Founded in 1999, Bluesocket is a pioneer in the managed wireless LAN market, first launching a gateway to manage 802.11 access points in 2001. Such products have proved popular, especially in the education market.

The company has had a difficult time breaking into the larger enterprise market, a situation not helped by the market shift to wireless LAN switches over the last couple of years.

Bluesocket has been adding own-brand access points and more security features to its controllers in an attempt to add enterprise customers lately. (See Bluesocket Taps AP Market and Security Trumps Voice.) Bluesocket's most established user base, however, is still largely in universities and schools across America.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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