Arista Networks has hired a former Palo Alto networks executive as its new chief financial officer, part of several recent additions to its leadership team that also included an ex-Cisco VP to head software development.
Michael Lehman is Arista's new CFO, the latest stop in what's been a 30-year career and included two decades at Sun Microsystems. Lehman was a Sun executive vice president and CFO when it was acquired by Oracle in 2010, and then went on to become Palo Alto Networks' first CFO in 2011, a year before the security upstart's initial public offering.
"As the company continues to grow in the delivery of software-defined cloud networks, Michael's proven success in financial strategies and operations is pivotal for guiding the future growth of the company," Jayshree Ullal, Arista's president and CEO, said in a statement Tuesday.
Another recent Arista sign-on is Tom Black, a major player in Cisco's software-defined networking (SDN) strategy thanks to his role running Cisco's ONE initiatives. Black was also head of engineering for Cisco's WAN optimization portfolio, a unit recently decimated by Cisco layoffs although Cisco maintains it will continue to invest in WAN op.
Black is Arista's new vice president, SDN engineering. It's a key defection from Cisco, given that the ONE, or Open Network Environment strategy, was just launched this past summer by Cisco as a key piece of its SDN approach. Cisco ONE provides application programming interfaces, dubbed Cisco OnePK, for developers on a few different Cisco OSes.
Competition between Cisco and Arista has recently re-intensified, thanks to Cisco's launch of a new low-latency switch, the Cisco Nexus 3548, which outguns Arista's most up-to-date switch in terms of both speed and performance. Arista is viewed as a specialist in low-latency networking, which refers to systems that can pass data between data center servers at the highest possible speeds.
Black joins a small galaxy of Cisco alumni now at Arista, including Jayshree Ullal, president and CEO; Ed Chapman, vice president, business development and alliances; Mark Foss, vice president, international sales; Doug Gourlay, vice president of marketing; Jeffrey Hirschman, vice president, hardware engineering; Christophe Metivier, vice president, manufacturing and platform engineering; and Adam Sweeney, vice president, EOS engineering.
PUBLISHED OCT. 2, 2012