Kittu Keeps the Kitty
Juniper announced yesterday that the former Neoteris CEO, who joined Juniper with last year's NetScreen acquisition, will be stepping down (see Juniper Names Exec VP ). Kolluri will stick around through 2005, then depart to "pursue his passion as an investor," working with startups in India and the United States, as the Juniper press release puts it. Kolluri wasn't available for comment.
Kolluri won't be walking away from a $677,683 bonus awarded earlier this month, though. Although SEC filings described the bonus as being contingent on milestones between now and October 2006, Kolluri is still eligible for the money, a Juniper spokeswoman says. The bonus relates to what could be an upcoming SSL VPN product (see Juniper Bids Big VPN Bonus).
Taking Kolluri's place as executive vice president and general manager of the Security Products Group will be Rob Sturgeon, Juniper's vice president of customer service. Sturgeon has been with the company since 2001.
Even though Juniper spelled out reasons for Kolluri's departure, the move is sure to open up questions, considering Juniper's security business has disappointed analysts in a couple of recent quarters (see Juniper Meets, But Shares Slump and Juniper's NetScreen: Pricing Insecurity?).
"That part of the business has been a challenge for them, so maybe that was a contributing factor" to Kolluri's departure, says Erik Suppiger, an analyst with Pacific Growth Equities Inc.. "They've made a lot of organizational changes in that portion of the business, mainly on the sales side."
In a recent note, Suppiger wrote that Juniper's security revenues, minus the newly completed Redline Networks Inc. and Kagoor Networks acquisitions, "increased a disappointing 1 percent sequentially" in the June quarter.
Kolluri's presence at Juniper is one of those fish-swallowing-fish acts. He was CEO of security startup Neoteris when it was acquired by NetScreen. In turn, NetScreen got nabbed by Juniper in a $4 billion deal that closed in April 2004 (see NetScreen to Acquire Neoteris and Juniper Buys NetScreen).
— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading