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Keerti Melkote On The Aruba Team’s ‘Blood, Sweat and Tears’ And His Future Plans: Exclusive

With the news that Aruba Networks founder Keerti Melkote is leaving the company, the tech visionary shares with CRN why now was the time to leave and describes how Aruba’s portfolio is ‘on fire.’ He also tells CRN that HPE CEO Antonio Neri has been and will continue to be Aruba’s ‘biggest cheerleader.’

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Why was now the time to leave Aruba Networks?

For me, I always want to see Aruba grow, thrive and do really well. There’s never a good time to say goodbye to the company you created. But if there’s ever a time to leave, it’s when [business] is up and to the right. Not only Aruba, but the whole world has gone through the pandemic and as we come back out of the pandemic, business is looking up. In Q1, we did double-digit growth and in Q2, we had 20 percent growth year over year and it only will accelerate from here. The momentum in the business is phenomenal, and I just want to keep that momentum going. The best time to bring in top talent is when things are going really well. So I thought if there ever was a time I’d want to consider [leaving], this is the best time. If there was something wrong with the business, I would never be leaving.

And the other reason as to why now was the Aruba leadership team. My direct staff is very, very strong. The team does an exceptional job and they’re very loved by our customers, partners and employees. I have a lot of confidence in them to keep the momentum going. And now with Phil [Mottram] joining as the head of Aruba and David Hughes taking over as CTO, it will be new leadership for the company but in many ways, the core of who we are is going to continue because that’s ultimately why we are who we are and where we fit in the market. The customer-first, customer-last mantra, that small-company approach and keeping partners at the heart of everything we do—we’ve become more than a company, we’ve become a family. The good news is we know no other way. That is the only way we can keep going as long as the culture stays alive, and I’m very confident that will happen.

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