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Another Brocade Exec Bolts

4:15 PM -- The sudden resignation of CFO Tony Canova reminds us just how rocky this year has been for Brocade. (See Brocade CFO Resigns).

The switch vendors problems began in January when CEO Greg Reyes resigned following completion of an internal audit. (See Brocade Switches CEOs, Restates .) For most of the year, Brocade has operated under the cloud of a Department of Justice investigation into the way the company handled stock options from 2001 to 2004 and a restatement of earnings from 2002-2004. (See Brocade Makes Deadline and Brocade Being Investigated. Now the CFO has left in the final days of the year without giving a reason.

The departure of Canova, who joined Brocade in 2000, can only arouse more suspicions about the company’s problems. While we don’t know if his departure is related to the DOJ investigation, or whispers that the company is for sale or looking to go private, it will only fuel speculation that something is in the works.

We do know this: with the departure of Reyes and Canova and CTO Jay Kidd’s defection to Network Appliance in October, Brocade has lost its three most high profile executives in 2005. And that can’t be good for stability. (See NetApp Has Kidd for New Group.)

Then again, a clean slate may be just the thing Brocade needs to regain its footing in the new year.

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