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Managing Editor

Laurel names CEO

Feb 02, 20042 mins
Cisco SystemsWi-Fi

Service edge router maker Laurel Networks this week named a former Cisco and Juniper Networks sales executive as its CEO.

Don Pyle has come out of retirement to take the reins at the young, privately held company. Pyle has been a Laurel board member since the fall of 2003 and he succeeds Laurel co-founder and CEO Atul Bansal, who is now Laurel’s president and COO.

Most recently, Pyle was vice president of North American sales at Juniper, where he spent six years until retiring in mid-2002. Before that, Pyle was a regional manager in Cisco’s service provider division. He held a similar position at StrataCom prior to Cisco’s acquisition of the company eight years ago.

Pyle also spent 10 years at Case Communications where he held sales and sales management positions for the service provider market.

Pyle had his eyes on Laurel while at Cisco and Juniper. “From my perspective, it was a very sound early stage company,” he says. “We didn’t see them in a lot of opportunities but the few that we did, they were certainly a short list candidate.” 

The appointment of a seasoned sales veteran as CEO is an indication that Laurel is ramping up an aggressive push of its ST-200 router into channels and bids. Spending among service providers is picking up again, and the edge of the network is where a lot of that money will go as they look to support new and existing Layer 2 and Layer 3 services while migrating to an IP/MPLS core network.

“I was very intrigued by what we saw as the market opportunity looking forward,” Pyle says about his rationale for ending retirement. “We’re seeing capex budgets move up a little bit more, the percentage of contribution of the IP spend increase within those capital budgets, and much of that spend is an opportunity for the multiservice edge.”

Laurel’s ST-200 router specializes in legacy Layer 2 frame relay, ATM and Ethernet service aggregation over an IP/MPLS core. Laurel is a finalist in a handful — less than 12 — of service provider RFPs, Pyle says.

The company is generating revenue from a handful of customers, including Level 3, KT and DACOM, and has alliances with Ciena and Marconi. Ciena has also invested in Laurel.

Managing Editor

Jim Duffy has been covering technology for over 28 years, 23 at Network World. He covers enterprise networking infrastructure, including routers and switches. He also writes The Cisco Connection blog and can be reached on Twitter @Jim_Duffy and at

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