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Maranti Hires SAN Virtuoso

Storage switch startup Maranti Networks has hired James Kuenzel, former VP of engineering at McData Corp. (Nasdaq: MCDTA), to crank up its engineering effort and -- it hopes -- ship its product by mid-2003 (see Maranti Names Engineering VP, CTO).

Kuenzel, who accepted the VP of engineering post in December, will oversee both hardware and software development at Maranti. He has sole responsibility for whipping the company's engineering team into action to deliver a product by midyear. The switch is expected to enter trials this quarter, according to Maranti's VP of marketing, Harish Nayak.

Kuldeep Sandhu, Maranti's co-founder, president, and CEO, who had been overseeing hardware, hands this responsibility off to Kuenzel. Santosh Lolayekar, formerly the company's VP of software, will now assume the role of CTO.

Kuenzel is the ideal man for the job, says Nayak. "We now have someone with overall control... who has delivered these products to market before and has networking and storage experience." Kuenzel was at McData for three years and at Cabletron Systems before that.

Maranti was founded in October 2000 with $6 million from Alliance Ventures. It received a second round of $25 million from Menlo Ventures and Trinity Ventures in December 2001, for a total of $31 million. Unsurprisingly, a year later, with 75 employees on board and no sign of revenues any time soon, Maranti is looking for more investment (see Maranti Scores $25 Million and Maranti's Momentum Flags).

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