Cumulus tweaks executive lineup

Business VP departing as Linux NOS start-up prepares for additional funding

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Cumulus Networks, the “star” open networking start-up with the hardware-agnostic Linux operating system, is shuffling bodies as it lines up another funding round. Vice President of Business Reza Malekzadeh is leaving the company in October to pursue other opportunities, says CEO JR Rivers.

When Cumulus burst onto the scene in 2010, Malekzadeh was handling just about everything – business development, partnerships, alliances, sales, marketing… Now that Cumulus is growing, his duties require a division among a few more executives, Rivers says.

William Choe is leading alliances and product management, and Josh Leslie is the company’s VP of sales.

“The role underneath Reza is diminishing,” Rivers says, “so he’s heading off to do something else.”

Of Cumulus’ business, Rivers says the company is winning deals and that things are going well. That’s why the company had to recently hire a VP of sales.

“We haven’t lost (deals) to anyone but Cisco,” he says. Along the way, Cumulus has attracted some heavyweight partners like VMware, Dell and HP.

But Cumulus is still not profitable, Rivers admits. He says the company is in the middle of a funding round and it’s proceeding along, but he wouldn’t discuss much more about it.

Cumulus has received $51 million in two rounds since its inception, $36 million coming in Series B.

Profitability is “in the line of sight in our operating plan,” Rivers says.

Some may be impatient. A number of employees left Cumulus in the first quarter of this year, and many posted less than glowing reviews of Cumulus on the employment site Glassdoor. Most complaints refer to two VP-level executives.

Rivers says it was unclear who the anonymous posters were or who specifically they were referring to. He dismissed Glassdoor as a “great place to grind axes.”

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