Exclusive: Big Switch Networks Adds Mitch Breen As Chief Revenue Officer To Support The Company's Aggressive Growth

Big Switch Networks has brought on sales-focused veteran Mitch Breen as chief revenue officer to help support the 80 percent year-over-year growth it has been experiencing for the past three years, the company tells CRN.


Software-defined networking company Big Switch Networks has brought on IT sales leader Mitch Breen as chief revenue officer to help support the "hypergrowth" it has been experiencing, the company told CRN.

Big Switch President and CEO Douglas Murray said that the company is "growing like a weed" at a clip of more than 80 percent year over year from 2015 to 2018. The company, which does 100 percent of its business through the channel, has every intention of continuing that hypergrowth rate, he said.

Effective immediately, Breen is responsible for Big Switch's global go-to-market strategy. He will be working with partners to help support the company's aggressive growth goals.

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"I've seen a lot of speed bumps throughout my career that you can run into when trying to scale a company and how to avoid those, how to fail quickly if you're going to fail, Breen said. "I'm taking those lessons learned on how to scale and use partners and resources to grow a company and stay maniacally focused on the mission."

[Related: Big Switch Networks CEO Murray On Hiring Blitz, Strong Relationships With Dell EMC And HPE, And The Cloud Mission For Partners]

Santa Clara, Calif.-based Big Switch offers a "Land, Expand, Renew" business that presents a wealth of opportunity for its channel partners to sell an opportunity and then grow within that account, Murray said.

"We're not fixated on boxes. We are focused on working with our ecosystem of partners to make their switches as optimal as possible for what they do on-premise and in the cloud," he said.

Big Switch's software is typically included in a broader sale that can be made up of hyper-converged infrastructure, server, storage and networking. As Big Switch grows its business, the company wants to work with more partners that are embracing disruptive technologies and earning higher margins, Breen said.

Big Switch early on decided that everything had to be done in close partnership with the channel, and the company has plans to continue to expand its tech partnerships and channel relationships. To continue to scale, Big Switch has been bringing on leaders to help the company run toward an IPO, Murray said.

The company last year brought on Alan Hase as chief development officer and vice president of engineering and Derek Donahue as vice president of sales, Americas. Big Switch also hired Brant Kennedy as its interim vice president of worldwide sales last year, whose duties are now being handled by Breen in his capacity as CRO, a spokesperson for the company told CRN.

"The next step for us was to bring on someone I could partner with really closely to scale our go-to-market function and it was important that this individual had experience in this space, but also really understood how to really work effectively with partners," he said. "That's why we brought on [Breen]."

Prior to joining Big Switch, Breen had served as senior vice president of sales for Plexxi Networks for the past two years and before that, he was senior vice president of global sales for SimpliVity. Plexxi and SimpliViity were acquired by Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Breen also served as senior vice president of sales for North America for Oracle and had a long stint at EMC before it was acquired by Dell, where he worked for more than 26 years. In one of his roles with EMC, Breen ran global channels and alliances.

"I've very familiar with what partners need to keep the lights on and I intend on honoring that as we build out the go to market with Big Switch," he said.