Vivato Loses CTO, VP

The brain drain is continuing apace at struggling wireless LAN switch startup Vivato Inc., Unstrung has learned.

A spokeswoman for Vivato confirmed late last night that the firm's CTO, Marcus de Silva, and its VP of marketing, Phil Belanger, have left the company, saying the executives "left to pursue other professional interests."

De Silva was Vivato's second CTO. Skip Crilly, the firm's initial technology head stepped down to become chief scientist back in August 2002 when the firm first started cutting employees (see Vivato: Shaken & Stirred Up ). Since then, Vivato's original CEO Ken Biba stepped down and the company made a second round of job cuts (see Vivato CEO Steps Down and Vivato Cuts Again).

Vivato is different from most of the other wireless LAN switch vendors on the market, because it has developed one big box that handles switching, security, and management and is supposed to provide 802.11b (11 Mbit/s over 2.4GHz) for entire office floors (see Vivato Plans Ambitious WLAN).

Other switch startups, such as Aruba Wireless Networks, Airespace Inc., and Trapeze Networks Inc., have favored a distributed approach, with stripped-down access points providing radio coverage while security and management functions are handled at a separate switch (see Vivato's Switch Bitch and Switch Tiff Heats Up for more on the different approaches).

Vivato's initial b product was beset by delays, and the company only started ramping up production in August 2003. Vivato is now working on a new product that will still adhere to its initial switch concept but uses a new chipset and will support the faster 802.11g (54 Mbit/s over 2.4MHz) standard.

The Vivato spokeswoman says that second-generation products are now scheduled to launch in the second quarter of this year.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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