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Former Salesforce, Cisco Exec Dan Smoot Named New Riverbed CEO

The networking performance vendor has a new leader and its third CEO in three years. Riverbed has promoted its COO and longtime tech executive Dan Smoot.

Riverbed has named Chief Operating Officer Dan Smoot, who has worked at Cisco and more recently served as a channel executive at Salesforce, as its new leader and its third CEO in three years, effective immediately.

Smoot, a tech veteran with more than 30 years of experience in the channel and sales operations, will focus the network performance vendor on the next stage of growth, which will include helping enterprises with network modernization efforts in a post-pandemic world, the company said.

Smoot is taking the reins from Riverbed’s former CEO Rich McBee, who took the post in October 2019. McBee, the former CEO of UCaaS giant Mitel, led the company for a year and nine months after taking over for Riverbed Chairman David Murphy, who became interim CEO of the company for one month. Murphy succeeding Paul Mountford, who left Riverbed to become COO of Pure Storage in 2019.

McBee will stay on with Riverbed for a transitionary phase until the end of June. Rich is leaving Riverbed and not retiring, a spokesperson for the company told CRN.

[Related: Riverbed CEO Rich McBee: 'We've Returned To Our Roots']

Smoot, the company’s new president and CEO, said he was honored by the promotion in a statement. “Riverbed is focused on fueling our next phase of growth by delivering innovative and relevant technologies that help propel our customers’ businesses and enable them to fully capitalize on their digital and IT investments. With leading end-to-end visibility and performance solutions, Riverbed is in a unique position to help business and government organizations as they modernize and secure their networks, accelerate cloud and SaaS migrations, and advance hybrid work environments as employees increasingly work-from-anywhere,” Smoot said.

“I … want to thank our previous CEO, Rich McBee, who helped lead Riverbed during a critical time, including setting a strong foundation for the future and navigating the Company through a global pandemic,” Robert ‘Tre’ Sayle, Riverbed Board Member and Thoma Bravo Partner said in a statement on Smoot’s promotion to CEO.

Prior to his nearly two-year post as Riverbed’s COO, Smoot was the company’s chief customer officer for more than a year. Before his time with Riverbed, Smoot worked at Salesforce for nearly four years as executive vice president of global partner sales and executive vice president of market readiness. Smoot also worked at VMware as Senior Vice President of Global Customer Operations for more than two years and had a more than 12-year stint at Cisco, most recently serving as vice president, worldwide sales, operations and marketing for Cisco Capital.

Riverbed’s McBee told CRN in 2020 that the company was focused on returning to its roots after bouncing in and out of various networking businesses over the last few years. Riverbed has had its sights set on WAN optimization, SD-WAN and application acceleration.

The San Francisco-based company earns nearly 90 percent of its revenue through the channel, according to Riverbed.  

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