SDN Technology

Cumulus Taps New CEO, Replacing Co-Founder

SDN supplier Cumulus Networks has named VP Sales Josh Leslie as CEO, replacing co-founder JR Rivers, who stays on as CTO.

Leslie joined Cumulus Networks as VP sales in June. "He did his day job effectively by restructuring our sales team, refining the sales process, getting operations tight, and closing deals," Rivers says in a blog post announcing the transition. "He also became a very trusted advisor, helping with company strategy, partner relationships, fundraising, board management, and hiring. Around November, it became clear that Josh would make a great CEO."

Rivers says the transition started with a change in the CTO office. "In early February, [co-funder and CTO Nolan Leake] pulled me aside and let me know that he was ready to start a slow transition out of company operations." Rivers realized he wanted the CTO job, leaving a vacancy for CEO.

In a blog post of his own, Leslie says he grew up in Silicon Valley.

Prior to joining Cumulus, Leslie was VP worldwide field operations for ADC vendor Instart Logic; VP North American sales for failed Ethernet SAN supplier Coraid; and senior director, sales and alliances, for VMware, according to his LinkedIn profile. He earned an MBA from Columbia Business School in 2002, and a BA in cognitive science from the University of California, Berkeley.

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The Cumulus Linux network operating system runs on white box switches. It has distribution deals with both Dell and HPE.

The company scored a $35 million Series C funding round from existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Battery Ventures, Sequoia Capital, SV Angel and new investor TopTier Capital, in January. However, the company value had reportedly fallen below what it had been for a round two years earlier. (See Two SDN Startups Join 2016 Funding Parade.)

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