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Juniper Fills Marketing Void (3 Times)

Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) finally has a marketing vice president -- three of 'em, in fact.

Shailesh Shukla, recently hired out of Redback Networks Inc. , is taking the VP title for Juniper's carrier and service provider marketing. Shukla had joined the company last month, just in time for the TelecomNext tradeshow. (See TelecomNext: Notebook Nuggets.)

Steven Wastie becomes vice president for Juniper's enterprise side. He'd previously been VP of emerging technologies for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Finally, Sam Ezekiel was named VP of marketing for managed services. He'd formerly been a senior director of marketing at Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), working with the access router and wireless businesses.

The company announced the moves today. (See Juniper Adds Marketing VPs.) Both VPs report to chief marketing officer Jeff Lindholm, who took that role early this year.

So, what took so long? Former vice president of marketing Christine Heckart departed in June and is now doing IPTV marketing with Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT). Juniper has had various marketing execs take the de facto helm in the meantime, while the occasional odd message popped out of the company -- such as the statement that it lacks an acquisition strategy. (See VP Jumps From Juniper and Juniper's Secret.)

Lindholm says Juniper underwent a "critical search" that took time. Moreover, Juniper CEO Scott Kriens went through some strategizing early this year, resulting in a restructuring that focuses Juniper on market segments -- enterprises and service providers, for example -- rather than on technologies. With that strategy came the decision to hire multiple marketing VPs.

Kriens also reassigned marketing to report directly to him, a sign that marketing will be a priority. "He's looking for marketing to be more impactful," Lindholm says. Lindholm also confirms talk that Juniper wanted a more technologyful marketing VP.

Those decisions make sense given that Juniper will be up against powerhouse Cisco in the enterprise market. There's an old adage that nobody got fired for buying IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), and Cisco is benefitting from a similar attitude among enterprise customers and resellers, says analyst Simon Leopold of Morgan Keegan & Company Inc. "We view this issue as a strong headwind and not an immovable barrier," he wrote in a February report. Still, it's clear Juniper will have to work hard to combat Cisco's marketing might.

In a separate matter, readers are no doubt anxious to see how Lindholm scores in Light Reading's unscientific survey of vendor CMO fame. Here's the result: A search for "Jeff Lindholm" and "Juniper" on Google results in 133 hits, near the bottom of the (admittedly short and arbitrarily chosen) list. Perhaps Lindholm's team will help get the word out about him as well. (See Your CMO Is Who?.)

— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading

Honestly 12/5/2012 | 3:58:52 AM
re: Juniper Fills Marketing Void (3 Times) To screw in a light bulb. What a mess. We loved you Christine, say it ain't so Joe
russ4br 12/5/2012 | 3:58:43 AM
re: Juniper Fills Marketing Void (3 Times) The marketeers make the light bulb "platform" launch at Supercomm (May) ... and announce the "light" is to be included in the roadmap as part of the feature set to be delivered by 2H06 (December). BTW, they leak info to LR that the product is already in the labs with several Service Providers.

-russ
Roshani 12/5/2012 | 3:58:43 AM
re: Juniper Fills Marketing Void (3 Times) Honestly, screwing in a light bulb is done by Engineers. Don't the marketeers make it shine with light even if it is not screwed in? :-)
Honestly 12/5/2012 | 3:58:40 AM
re: Juniper Fills Marketing Void (3 Times) Sounds like you know how to market. :)
Honestly 12/5/2012 | 3:58:39 AM
re: Juniper Fills Marketing Void (3 Times) Russ, I think we may have a world class marketing team right here, right now.
ron202 12/5/2012 | 3:58:38 AM
re: Juniper Fills Marketing Void (3 Times) Nice jokes! not being a marketeer I have fun reading them.
I am not very knowledgable in respect with Juniper but I read many times in this board that Cisco has lousy products but a great Marketing team. This is why they make so much money.

Seems that Juniper wants to increase their marketing group (probably they hired more in marketing than the 3 names mentioned here as far as I heard).

Is this a good move ? (should I buy Juniper stock..) Any inputs from people who know Juniper will be appreciated..
twill009 12/5/2012 | 3:58:35 AM
re: Juniper Fills Marketing Void (3 Times) Shuffling the marketing deck is usually a sign of weakness, not strength. Juniper is a good company, but I would hold off buying this stock. I think Alcatel has got the momentum in the router market, for the time being...

You know how to make a Juniper marketing guy turn blue? Mention "layer 3 switching" -- and then stand back and watch the fireworks.

Now for a non-sequitur:

IBM = 'Inferior, But Marketable'

"We've heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the Internet, we know that is not true."

Robert Wilensky, speech at a 1996 conference
thanks to quotationspage.com
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