Maranti Lands Brocade VP

Switch startup says Brocade's ex-VP of N. American sales will help it develop channels

June 8, 2004

2 Min Read
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Brocade Communications Systems Inc.s (Nasdaq: BRCD) VP of North American sales has jumped to Maranti Networks Inc., moving from the Fibre Channel switch market leader to a startup that has yet to make an impact on the market.

Greig Patton says his decision to join Maranti as VP of sales has nothing to do with the restructuring at Brocade, which the company says will result in a 9 percent workforce reduction -- but scuttlebutt has it that many more jobs will be affected.

“I’m moving to what I think is a great opportunity, rather than running away,” Patton protests. “I enjoy the early ramp and growth opportunity that Maranti offers.”

Brocade laid off 110 workers on May 19 when it announced quarterly earnings (see Brocade Hits Estimates, Lays Off 110). CEO Greg Reyes said there would be no other cuts, but people close to the company say the cuts have gone far deeper than Reyes admits, though they may not be characterized as layoffs. Some have put the number at 20 percent or more (see Brocade Denies More Cuts).

Patton says his job would not have been affected by the Brocade cuts. Still, at least two sources familiar with Brocade question why Patton would leave Brocade for a company that claims to have revenue from its intelligent switches but won't name customers.While announcing the cuts last month, Reyes said the OEM sales team and end-user/channel sales team would merge into one unit headed by VP of worldwide sales Michael Klayko. Patton was on the end-user/channel side. A Brocade spokeswoman says one of the company’s regional sales directors, Regan McGrath, will take over Patton’s responsibilities.

Patton has a history with Maranti CEO Debbie Miller and with Bob Henry, the man he replaces. The three worked together at Silicon Graphics Inc. (SGI) (NYSE: SGI), where Patton was VP of channel sales and marketing.

Patton says he doesn’t consider Maranti a direct competitor to Brocade and the other major SAN switch players. “I think Maranti’s a complementary play,” he says. “Maranti’s not a rip-and-replace scenario. It can go into a McData, Brocade, or Cisco environment and add high-level services.”

Maranti has had its share of management change since February, when it announced $26 million in funding and named Miller CEO (see More Money for Maranti). Henry came aboard with Miller, but a company spokesman says personal reasons forced him to move to the East Coast. In May, Maranti founders Kuldeep Sandhu and Santosh Lolayekar joined SAN system vendor XIOtech Corp. to head a new development team (see Xiotech Hires Maranti Founders).

Miller says Patton’s arrival should bring credibility to the startup. “It’s a real endorsement of our product and strategy,” she says.— Dave Raffo, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

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