Juniper Networks Hires Google Visionary As New CTO

Juniper Networks is hiring one of Google's top engineers, Bikash Koley, as its new chief technology officer.

"From a thought leadership perspective, a guy like Bikash is a great fit for Juniper," said Mark Robinson, CEO of enfoPoint, a Brentwood Tenn.-based solution provider and Juniper partner. "Juniper's always been an innovator and I think Google is one of the most innovative companies in the world, so it's a really great fit in that regard. It's also interesting he has an optical background, which is a focus of Juniper going forward."

Koley, who is set to start at Juniper in August, is currently a distinguished engineer and the head of network architecture, engineering and planning at Google. Koley built and operated Google's production network infrastructure -- spanning the data center, backbone, optical and content edge, according to Juniper.

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"Bikash is a visionary who has been architecting and operating networks of the future at Google for the past 10 years," said Juniper CEO Rami Rahim, in a statement. "I'm excited to have Bikash help us lead the transformation in the networking industry by delivering innovative products, solutions and services for network operators around the world."

Koley will be responsible for Juniper's technology strategy as well as leading and executing on several of the company's critical technology innovations, including its software-defined networking offering, Contrail, as well as AppFormix.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based networking vendor said Koley brings a wealth of experience in both IP and optical domains, and in designing and operating large-scale networks. This will further the company's vision of enabling high-performance, highly automated self-driving networks of the future, said Rahim.

"Juniper is looking at the optical side of things. With his background there, it's going to fit with their BTI [Systems] acquisition," said Robinson. "So it's a great hire on multiple levels."

The news comes just months after Juniper founder and current CTO, Pradeep Sindhu, said he would reduce his role at the company to focus on Fungible, a startup he co-founded in 2015. Fungible is currently in stealth mode with investment backing from Juniper.

"With Pradeep stepping back a bit, it fills a hole there. It picks up where Pradeep left off," said Robinson.

Juniper touts Koley as an industry-leading expert on SDN, packet and optical network integration, warehouse-scale computing, and large-scale data center interconnection.

Prior to Google, Koley was the co-founder and CTO of Qstreams Networks. He also spent several years at Ciena in various technical roles, developing Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) and Ethernet technologies.

"I have admired Juniper Networks' technology for the last two decades and believe the technology within Juniper will lend itself to an amazing programmable platform that will allow companies to operate seamless hybrid cloud infrastructures," said Koley in a statement. "Harmonious connectivity to clouds is not a solved problem, and I look forward to being part of the new era of networking."