Optical/IP Networks

Meru Veep Goes Cisco-Side

Meru Networks Inc.'s VP of marketing, Ben Gibson, has resigned to take a position at Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO).

Gibson says he will be "heading up outbound marketing for [Cisco's] wireless and mobile wireless business units" starting next week. He'll be working with ex-Airespacer Alan Cohen, who heads up product marketing for Cisco.

The decision for Gibson to move from Meru was "a personal, family-based decision." He already has some roots at Cisco, having worked there "for a good portion of my earlier career."

He claims the move isn't a reflection on Meru. "I think Meru is a very interesting company and that they have a good shot, particularly with voice-over-WLAN as that market develops," he tells Unstrung.

Still it seems like all roads lead to Cisco in the wireless LAN game. Gibson was only at Meru a matter of months, having moved there from Proxim Corp. (Nasdaq: PROX), which has since had its assets acquired out of bankruptcy. (See Meru Adds VPs and Terabeam Grabs Proxim's Assets.)

Meru hasn't announced a replacement yet. "Stay tuned," a spokesperson for the company says.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

OpticOm 12/5/2012 | 3:00:30 AM
re: Meru Veep Goes Cisco-Side Meru is an interesting place to work, yet he jumps ship....
m_sharipov 12/5/2012 | 3:00:03 AM
re: Meru Veep Goes Cisco-Side Cisco must be readying to buy Meru out.
wlanner 12/5/2012 | 3:00:00 AM
re: Meru Veep Goes Cisco-Side After $450M for Airespace, which does the same thing with actual customers (after you get through the Meru marketing fluff)the answer to that would be no. More likely, it represents the realization that Meru is not going to be bought by anyone.
whatupwireless 12/5/2012 | 2:59:41 AM
re: Meru Veep Goes Cisco-Side OK, Airespace/Cisco employee, how do you figure this? Thats a pretty bold statement with no real information behind it so how about a little more logic to this reasoning.

"it represents the realization that Meru is not going to be bought by anyone."
lrmobile_strungup 12/5/2012 | 2:59:35 AM
re: Meru Veep Goes Cisco-Side > Cisco must be readying to buy Meru out.

That's absurd if this this conclusion is drawn from an exec leaving Meru to go to Cisco.

Think about it, why hire the exec separately if Cisco is to acquire the company, him with it. Secondly, why would the exec leave if he thought the company was close to being acquired? The logic makes no sense.

I can see where a Cisco exec going to Meru raises the potential of communication for a buyout. But not the other way around.

All assumptions aside. Meru doesn't have enough differentiation from Airespace to warrant Cisco to pay again. It's the same architecture and meru is just putting an marketing emphasis on voice. It's not a divergent techonology where airespace and other competitors can't come up with the same offerings.
wlanner 12/5/2012 | 2:59:35 AM
re: Meru Veep Goes Cisco-Side I am not from Cisco/Airespace, but you are correct that I may have gone over the line as I have no knowledge if Meru will be bought or not. I was responding to the post that said this signaled that Cisco would buy Meru, which anyone can tell would be duplication on many fronts.

At a statup the upside for an exec is your options in the event of being bought for a lot of $$$. It would seem strange that if the poster thinks Meru is about to be taken out that an exec would leave to go to a public company (where they may be well compensated), but not have as much upside.
whatupwireless 12/5/2012 | 2:59:31 AM
re: Meru Veep Goes Cisco-Side I just saw something that said a Cisco exec went to Meru (granted that was after this string was started). I don't think Cisco's Airespace acquisition was for some sort of differentiation, it was to protect big accounts from having Airespace usher in Nortel/Alcatel in the door as Airespace penetrated some biggies.

Airespace has little differentiation - some management software bolt-on supplemented with stuff like Ekahau but generic AP technology for the most part. So to say Cisco couldn't engineer that given enough time is a joke. But add the fact that Airespace was executing sales and penetrating big accounts and bringing Nortel to some tables that Cisco was unhappy with and then Airespace has a different value.

Meru has some different technology, for certain, that from what I've seen can't too readily be reverse engineered. But business, particularly Hi-Tech, is much less about that then people think.
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