Juniper 'Founder' Flees
One of Juniper Networks Inc.'s (Nasdaq: JNPR) original engineers and the head of its ASIC team have left the company, Light Reading has learned.
Ashok Krishnamurthi, VP of the infrastructure products group, and R.K. Anand, VP of ASIC engineering, have both left, according to sources. Timing on their departures is unclear, although it could have been as much as a month ago.
Juniper officials would not confirm whether the two had left, citing a policy not to comment on the status of current or former employees. However, Krishnamurthi's bio was removed from Juniper's Website sometime in the last 48 hours.
Krishnamurthi was one of Juniper's original engineers, having joined "in early 1996 to help found the company," according to the erstwhile bio, but he wasn't part of the founding team, a Juniper spokeswoman notes.
It doesn't appear that the two have left to join BCN, a router startup led by yet another Juniper departee, Michael Beesley (see BCN Joins Router Race). Instead, sources say it's likely Krishnamurthi and Anand have decided to start their own venture.
So, what's with these Juniper folks catching the startup bug? Is it a coincidence? A brain drain? A flight from a coworker who refuses to use deodorant?
Some say the executives' departures are a logical effect of Juniper's current adolescent period. The company started with a mission to outdo Cisco Systems Inc.'s (Nasdaq: CSCO) IP routers. Now it's bolstering its ATM and multiservice offerings with products such as the M320 and getting into enterprise business with the acquisition of NetScreen Technologies Inc. (see Juniper Hatches the M320 and Juniper Buys NetScreen). It's possible the old guard is pining for the days of an IP-focused startup.
Krishnamurthi's departure is significant, but there are no outward signs of a deeper problem. "It's not like Juniper's falling apart," one competitor says.
— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading