Top Sales Exec Out As Enterasys Prepares WLAN Switch Push

Michael Rivers, executive vice president of worldwide sales and services, left the Andover, Mass.-based company on April 7, a spokesman for the networking vendor confirmed Wednesday.

Larry Vaughan, Enterasys' vice president of sales operations, is now the company's acting vice president of worldwide sales and services, according the spokesman.

The spokesman declined to comment on whether the company is seeking a permanent replacement. He also declined to discuss the reasons behind Rivers' departure, citing the company's policy not to comment publicly on personnel matters.

Rivers lasted just over a year at Enterasys, joining the firm in March, 2004. He succeeded Cosmo Santullo, who departed Enterasys after a five-month tenure.

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The company has experienced turnover in a variety of top management positions at Enterasys, following an accounting scandal that began in 2001 and culminated in a guilty plea from former CEO Enrique "Henry" Fiallo last year.

Most recently, the company in February announced that President Mark Aslett assumed the additional role of CEO, replacing William O'Brien, who now serves as executive chairman.

Some customers are expressing concerns over the revolving door Enterasys seems to have on its executive offices, said Michael Simmons, president of MAS Enterprises, an Enterasys solution provider in Las Vegas.

"I've got customers who have been Enterasys shops for 12 or 13 years saying now it's time to look at something else," Simmons said. "It's been totally uncertain," he said of atmosphere created by the executive turnover.

Rivers' departure comes as Enterasys tries to inject life into its stagnant wireless strategy by jumping into the WLAN switch market. The company is scheduled to debut new products next week and begin shipping in volume this summer.

The forthcoming RoamAbout 8000 series WLAN switches and accompanying access points will give the company a centrally managed wireless portfolio to complement its existing line of standalone APs, said Prabhu Kavi, director of wireless product management and marketing at Enterasys.

"We haven't had any new [wireless] announcements in the last year," Kavi said. "We're coming back to wireless in a big way."

A software upgrade will enable Enterasys' legacy standalone products to operate with the new switch, Kavi said.

Enterasys also plans next week to introduce a new stackable edge switch family, dubbed SecureStack, that includes a new SecureStack B2 Layer 2 switch as well as the Layer 3 switch previously known as the Matrix C2. Later this year, Enterasys plans to issue an optional firmware upgrade that will enable the B2 to support policy-based networking.

The company plans to demonstrate the new products at the Networld + Interop conference next month in Las Vegas.