SD-WAN Specialist Aryaka Adds Three New Executives To The C-Suite


Aryaka is on a hiring spree.

The SD-WAN specialist Wednesday announced the appointment of three C-level executives, including Karen Freitag as chief revenue officer, Michelle Owczarzak as chief transformation officer, and Shashi Kiran as the company's new chief marketing officer.

Aryaka began refreshing its leadership team last year. In September, the company appointed Matt Carter as CEO. He formerly was president and CEO of networking and communications provider Inteliquent. The company also brought on enterprise software veteran Deepak Kumar as senior vice president of customer success in December.

[Related: Aryaka CEO Matt Carter On Making SD-WAN A 'Win-Win' For The Channel]

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Together, the new executive team will be working hard to grow the company significantly in the face of a blossoming SD-WAN market, Kiran told CRN. Kiran is taking over for Gary Sevounts, who left the company in October to take a role as CMO for digital fraud prevention company Kount.

"[Carter] has taken the opportunity to refresh the team, look for people that can help scale the company to the next level of growth, and help give the company a new sense of identity in the marketplace," Kiran said.

The San Mateo, Calif.-based company provides managed connectivity and WAN offerings today to more than 800 customers around the globe and wants to continue its winning streak with the help of partners, Kiran said.

"We are really poised for growth as businesses grow their own companies and expand geographically," he said. "The common denominator becomes connectivity. You can have the best applications running on the cloud, but if connectivity into the cloud is suboptimal, it has an impact on the application, but most importantly, the productivity of the users."

Freitag is taking over for former chief revenue officer Mike Hoffman, who is now serving as chief revenue officer for cloud management startup Yotascale. In her new role, Freitag will lead Aryaka’s global sales organization and is tasked with all revenue-generating functions, including direct and indirect sales channels, account management teams, sales engineering and sales operations. Freitag most recently served as executive vice president of worldwide sales for Rivada Networks, and prior to Rivada, she led Sprint’s Global Enterprise Business unit as president.

Owczarzak is filling a brand-new role for Aryaka as chief transformation officer. Owczarzak will work to evolve Aryaka into a premier growth company by continuing to track and execute ongoing initiatives for the company's global customers. Like Carter, Owczarzak comes from Inteliquent, were she served as senior vice president.

Kiran, for his part, will oversee all aspects of marketing, product management and technology partnerships. He is no stranger to tech marketing, having worked for Quali as well as Appcito, a cloud application infrastructure provider that was acquired by A10 Networks. He also has led data center and cloud marketing for Cisco Systems, and holds advisory board seats at early stage venture firms and startups in the Silicon Valley.

SD-WAN is a big opportunity for partners that are hungry for "transformative business services," Kiran said. Aryaka, a channel-led company, has a subscription-based offering and can work with partners in Capex and Opex revenue models.

"We are very keen to work with the right kind of partners that want a differentiated, global offering," he said. "SD-WAN is the big game in town, and we want to be the big player."