Ullal Lands in the Cloud

Former Cisco exec Jayshree Ullal has joined Andy Bechtolsheim's new company, Arista, to tackle cloud computing

Craig Matsumoto, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

October 23, 2008

2 Min Read
Ullal Lands in the Cloud

Former Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) exec Jayshree Ullal has picked cloud networking as her next challenge, taking the job as CEO of high-end Ethernet switch vendor Arista Networks Inc.

That's the latest startup founded by Sun Microsystems Inc. star Andy Bechtolsheim (real first name: Andreas), who's leaving Sun to be Arista's chief operating officer. Both appointments got announced this morning. (See Andy B. Joins Arista.)

The startup was originally called Arastra, which is apparently one of these things. There's no word on whether the name change means Arista will get into frightening new audio products.

Bechtolsheim is a founder of Sun, and he's also done his own stint at Cisco, so any startup of his is going to be worth watching. He last crossed Light Reading's path in 2007, talking about IPTV after reconnecting with Sun. (See Sun Finally Illuminates Its IPTV Plans and Cisco Big Bolts for Startup.)

Ullal and Bechtolsheim have known one another for more than 20 years, according to Ullal's blog, and of course Ullal has more than a little familiarity with Ethernet. So, the association isn't a huge surprise.

Her new gig involves 10-Gbit/s Ethernet switches for the data center. Arista has been shipping switches since May, claiming as customers Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) , Northwestern University's International Center for Advanced Internet Research (iCAIR) , and content delivery networking company BitGravity Inc.

Arista would appear to be in competition with Force10 Networks Inc. and Woven Systems Inc. -- and, of course, with big Ethernet names like Cisco.

Ullal left Cisco abruptly in May. Most observers theorized that she was angling to run a startup; some sources speculated that the new, collaborative management style at Cisco helped nudge her toward her decision. (See Ullal Calls It Quits at Cisco and Is Nuova Needling Cisco's Brass?)

Cisco has lost a few notable executives in the past couple of years. One cause appears to be that John Chambers intends to stick around as CEO to get Cisco through its new phase of collaboration and telepresence.

Chief development officer Charles Giancarlo, now acting as CEO of Avaya Inc. , hinted that a lack of opportunity for upward movement was one reason behind his own resignation. (See Giancarlo Steps in at Avaya, Giancarlo Quits Cisco, Paddles to Silver Lake, and Changes Run Deep at Cisco.)

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Craig Matsumoto

Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

Yes, THAT Craig Matsumoto – who used to be at Light Reading from 2002 until 2013 and then went away and did other stuff and now HE'S BACK! As Editor-in-Chief. Go Craig!!

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