Brocade/Foundry Union a Done Deal, CEO Cuts Out

Storage vendor Brocade Friday completed its acquisition of Foundry, bringing a new line of enterprise networking gear to the Brocade portfolio and putting it in line to face off more aggressively with Cisco Systems.

"The close of the Foundry acquisition will significantly enhance our ability to deliver on our mission of connecting the world's most important information," said Mike Klayko, CEO of San Jose, Calif.-based Brocade in a statement. "Brocade will now be able to offer a comprehensive IP and data center networking solution portfolio capable of addressing emerging market technology trends while meeting the needs of the world's most demanding, data-intensive organizations."

The deal was valued at approximately $3 billion when it was first unveiled in July, but as the impact of the current economic crisis became more apparent, the SAN switch vendor lowered its offer in October to approximately $2.6 billion. Foundry shareholders approved the deal Wednesday.

One executive not making the leap to Brocade is Founder and CEO Bobby Johnson.

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Johnson "now has the opportunity to pursue several charitable activities that he did not have the time to do while serving in his capacity of CEO and has chosen to do so," a Brocade spokesman said in an e-mailed statement. "We thank Bobby for building such a great company with a seasoned executive team, industry-leading products and technologies and a robust customer portfolio."

Brocade plans to "retain Foundry's employees and management and move them to Brocade as part of the integration," the spokesman noted. Santa Clara, Calif.-based Foundry, which was founded in 1996, has approximately 1,100 employees.

It may have lost one executive, but Brocade quickly added two others. The company named Marc Randall as its senior vice president of products and offerings, and appointed Dave Stevens as CTO.

Randall most recently served as CEO of Force10 Networks and previously spent seven years at Cisco, where he led the development of the Cisco 7500 Series router, according to a Brocade statement.

Stevens previously served as founder and CEO of security start-up Palo Alto Networks. The move marks his return to Brocade. He first joined the company via Brocade's acquisition of Rhapsody Networks in 2003 and spent about a year as the vice president and CTO of Brocade Transport Systems before departing in 2004, the company said.