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Cereva: Stalled, Not Stopped

The SAN startup has changed CEOs, suffered a layoff, and needs new funding. Otherwise, all systems are "go"

Times are tough for Cereva Networks Inc. Despite big plans and big backers, the vendor's hit some snags on the way to unveiling its high-end SAN switch.

Cereva made news earlier this year by emerging from stealth mode long enough to acknowledge a $130 million round of funding from a series of high-profile VCs (see Cereva and Cereva Details Storage Switch). The company reluctantly said it was working on a massively parallel switch for use in storage area networks (SANs).

Now, despite general industry enthusiasm for its product pitch, the startup's reportedly having a tough time raising cash fast enough to meet its growth needs. This has apparently led to a range of problems, both real and rumored, including layoffs, a change of CEOs, confusion over beta tests, and various financial woes.

Here's what's confirmed: Last week, Cereva said goodbye to its first CEO, Alan G. Lutz, an ex-Newbridge exec. This week, a new CEO stepped into the office -- Mahesh N. Ganmukhi, a member of Cereva's board and the founder and ex-CEO of Ignitus, the ill-fated passive optical networking (PON) company purchased by Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU) last year (see Lucent, Chromatis & Ignitus: A True Tale? and Tales of Lucent: Readers Respond).

Cereva's not explaining the CEO switch. "Mr. Lutz left for personal reasons," is all spokesman Bruce MacDonald will offer on the subject.

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