Xirrus Names Former Netgear Exec New CEO


High-performance wireless networking upstart Xirrus this week named Shane Buckley its new CEO, succeeding co-founder Dirk Gates, who is now executive chairman focused on Xirrus product strategy and innovation.

The well-traveled Buckley comes to Xirrus from Netgear, where as senior vice president and general manager, commercial business unit, he guided that Netgear unit to 50 percent revenue growth over two years, hitting $330 million in fiscal 2011.

Previously, Buckley was president and CEO of Rohati Systems, which was acquired by Cisco in late 2009; head of EMEA business operations for 3Com; and international president of Peribit Networks, acquired by Juniper in 2005, among other positions.

Gates described Buckley as "the ideal executive to lead Xirrus to scale and outexecute the competition in the fastest-growing networking category."

[Related: Xirrus Targets Wi-Fi, Mobility Partners In Dramatic Channel Expansion]

"Shane helped lead Netgear through its growth phase in the hotly competitive commercial networks segment, while revamping and leading its R&D, [product life-cycle management], marketing, sales, support and finance operations," Gates said in a statement. "That's the scope of experience and execution that will drive Xirrus to seize more market share and to scale for accelerated expansion."

Xirrus soft-launched a partner program in 2010 after several years selling mainly direct. The goal, according to a CRN interview with company executives last year, is to eventually sell Xirrus' Wi-Fi Arrays 100 percent through channel partners. In December 2011, Xirrus added a channel program for managed service providers.

Xirrus' stated value proposition is that customers can buy fewer devices and can consolidate their wireless wares with Xirrus' Wi-Fi Array, which offers up to 16 802.11a/b/g/n radios on a single device, along with embedded Wi-Fi controllers and switches, threat sensors, spectrum analyzers and other technologies. The company had about 75 partners registered as Platinum or Gold as of the beginning of the year.