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Cereva: Stalled, Not Stopped

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.