Former Cisco, Juniper Exec Lands At WLAN Vendor


Kothari is filling the newly created role of senior vice president of worldwide field operations for the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company, effective April 1. Meru positions itself as a maker of "application-aware" Wi-Fi equipment that's optimized for VoIP and other mission-critical applications.

Kothari's channel pedigree includes two years as vice president of worldwide channels at Sunnyvale-based Juniper Networks, from 2004 to 2006. Before that, he spent several years at Cisco Systems, including a five-year stint as vice president of channels for the San Jose, Calif.-based company. Since leaving Juniper, Kothari has been consulting for companies such as Meru and security start-up FireEye.

His new mission is to help Meru accelerate its growth and expand its partner efforts, Kothari told CRN. He will oversee the field-sales force, channels, channel marketing, customer service and customer support for the vendor, he said.

"The channel is going to be designed into everything we do," Kothari said.

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Kothari's extensive contacts in the channel could help pave the way for new partners to sign on with Meru.

"I'm definitely going to speak with him about Meru. The guy's been around the block and is successful, so that's certainly a good move for Meru," said Tom Duffy, president of IGXglobal, a solution provider in Rock Hill, Conn., that works with companies such as Juniper and wireless vendor Aruba, which went public earlier this week.

Kothari also said his relationship with former employer Juniper could help accelerate Meru's partnership with the networking and security outfit.

Solution providers should expect to see a revamped partner program from Meru within the next 30 days, Kothari said. He also plans to recruit more channel partners and to more than double Meru's field-sales force "within a short period," he said.

"We'll be building out a strong field-sales team to really scale the company, and we'll have a tight relationship between the channel and field sales," Kothari said.

Kevin McLaughlin contributed to this story.