Juniper Networks Tuesday appointed Shaygan Kheradpir, former CTO and CIO of telecommunications giant Verizon Communications, as its new CEO and a member of the company's board of directors effective Jan. 1, 2014.
Kheradpir, a 10-year Verizon veteran who led the development of the carrier's $12 billion FiOS business, is widely credited with pushing Verizon into the consumer broadband business with the advent of the consumerization of IT.
Solution providers said they are anxious to see if Kheradpir's appointment will result in the company placing a bigger bet on the service provider market at the expense of the commercial enterprise segment, where partners have the bulk of their business.
"I had to do a double take on it," said one Juniper solution provider, who requested anonymity. "I think in our industry we have gotten so used to picking that next IBM, Microsoft and Cisco guy. It was a bold pick, and it was a unique pick."
The solution provider said the service provider market makes up a "decent" amount of his overall Juniper business, sitting at roughly 20 percent. He noted, though, that that figure can vary based on the year. "It's a decent business for us, but it's definitely a different type of selling," the solution provider said.
In the most recent quarter, Juniper's commercial enterprise business was down 4 percent to $397.3 million compared with the year-ago quarter's $413 million.
Juniper's service provider business in the most recent quarter, meanwhile, was up 12 percent to $788 million, compared with $705 million in the year-ago quarter.
Juniper pointed out that Kheradipir was an "original member of the management team when Verizon was created and through a decade of leadership, was an instrumental member of the team that transitioned Verizon from a regional telephone company" to a global broadband giant.
After leaving Verizon in 2011, Kheradipir joined global finance giant Barclays PLC as COO overseeing the company's technology and operations. Kheradpir succeeds Kevin Johnson, who in July disclosed his plan to retire as CEO. Johnson will remain a member of the board.
Kheradpir's appointment comes amid an exodus of Juniper channel talent, including the departure just last week of Juniper channel chief Chris Jones, a three-year Juniper veteran who left to join rival Avaya as vice president of global distribution. A replacement for Jones has yet to be named.
Jones had spent only seven months in the top channel job for Juniper, replacing widely respected channel veteran Frank Vitagliano, who left Juniper in March for a high-level channel role at Dell.
NEXT: Partners 'Surprised' By Kheradpir's Appointment