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Aruba to 'Don' LeBeau?

Light Reading
LR Mobile News Analysis
Light Reading
11/25/2003
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After months of big game hunting, wireless LAN switch startup Aruba Wireless Networks may be about to bag itself a new CEO, Unstrung has learned.

Reliable sources say that the company is in talks with Don LeBeau, former SVP of worldwide operations at Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) – although no definite agreement has been signed yet.

Aruba has no official position on the possible hire. However, ebullient communications director David Callisch was notably effusive in his toadying praise of LeBeau. "He's a man among boys," he gushes. "We think this guy rocks. We'd be happy to have him, if he has us [sic]." Aruba has been searching for an experienced player to replace its temporary head, company co-founder Pankaj Manglik. [Ed. note: Whose name was deemed too silly for permanent CEO status?] Selina Lo, who currently consults part-time for the company, was once mooted as a possible candidate, but apparently the shoes didn't fit (see S.Lo No Go as Aruba CEO). Callisch says the firm has also talked to other candidates.

So why go with LeBeau? One source who spoke with Unstrung thinks that – if Aruba can get LeBeau on board – it may help the startup to build ties with enterprise wireless LAN leader Cisco. "How do you get Cisco to like you?" asketh the source. "You hire someone that Chambers likes."

How true. How very, very true.

— Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung

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