Cisco's Yen left Juniper for personal reasons

Move not prompted by any shortcomings in QFabric cloud product or strategy, sources say

David Yen left Juniper for personal reasons. QFabric, which is really Founder and CTO Pradeep Sindhu's baby, will go on without him and his departure does not signal anything amiss in Juniper's data center/cloud fabric strategy.

That's the consensus of sources queried at this week's Interop conference in Las Vegas, which is where many Juniper and Cisco data center officials were when news broke early this week that Yen jumped to Cisco to lead the Unified Computing System server and Nexus switch access business. Yen is succeeding three longtime and high-profile Cisco executives and engineers - Mario Mazzola, Luca Cafiero and Prem Jain - in running Cisco's Server Access and Virtualization Technology Group (SAVTG).

Yen was Juniper's executive vice president and general manager of the company's Fabric and Switching Business Group. His background is in servers - he spent 20 years at Sun Microsystems, where he led development of Sun's first-and-second-generation multi-CPU servers.

But Juniper quietly reorganized earlier this year, naming Stefan Dyckerhoff to head up its new Platform Systems Group (PSG). Word is, Yen wanted that job.  

"He has his own personal ambitions, and some recent management changes suggested he was staying in that (current) job while higher level positions were going to go to somebody else," says Tom Nolle, president of consultancy CIMI Corp. in Voorhees, N.J. "His move is more personal than anything else."

Nolle says Yen did not leave due to any hiccup in Juniper's QFabric product line or strategy. Yen was the face of QFabric but it was really Sindhu's creation.

"This has no major effect on QFabric at all," Nolle says.

R.K. Anand, formerly Juniper's  executive vice president of Foundation Technologies, leads QFabric development and Juniper's Data Center Business Unit, which falls under PSG. He reports to Dyckerhoff.

Back at Cisco, Mazzola, Cafiero and Jain helped Senior Vice Presidents Padmasree Warrior and Pankaj Patel bring Yen to the company, a Cisco spokesperson said. The trio had hit and exceeded the growth and profitability milestones agreed to when Cisco acquired Nuova Systems, the Cisco funded spin-in start-up that developed the Nexus 5000 switch. 

"With the SAVTG organization firing on all cylinders, they felt it was the right time to hand executive leadership to the next generation," the spokesperson said.

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