**Editor’s Note: Click here to see which channel people were on the move in March.**
Riverbed Technology‘s leader is retiring.
Paul Mountford is replacing Jerry Kennelly as chief executive officer of the software-defined networking provider, effective immediately. Mountford is an in-house hire, having served most recently as Riverbed’s chief sales officer.
Kennelly, who co-founded Riverbed in 2002, serves as chairman and CEO of a private equity firm. He will spend April in an “advisory role” as Mountford transitions. Kennelly said that Mountford is equipped to lead the company’s “next phase of growth.”
“I’m extremely proud of what our team has built at Riverbed the last 16 years, growing from a startup to a billion-dollar company serving 30,000 customers and every Forbes Global 100 company,” Kennelly said. “Riverbed is experiencing significant market momentum in today’s digital world, and I’ve never been more confident about the future of our company and opportunities ahead. After 40-plus years in the tech industry, and with Riverbed in a strong position, the time is right for me to retire and hand the reins over to a proven leader in Paul Mountford.”
Mountford joined Riverbed in 2014 after serving as CEO for intelligence provider Sentillian. He spent 16 years at Cisco, serving as senior vice president of global enterprise. Riverbed notes that Mountford led Cisco’s channel partner program from 2001 to 2006.
He came to Riverbed with the expressed intention of overseeing all direct and indirect sales operations and the company’s channel ecosystem.
“Riverbed is an incredible company with a history of driving disruptive innovation in the market, and I’m honored to lead this team as the next CEO,” Mountford said. “We have an extraordinary opportunity in front of us to lead businesses forward as they modernize their IT architecture to take full advantage of cloud and mobile technologies and accelerate their digital strategies.”
Mountford and the Riverbed board of directors praised Kennelly for “setting the foundation and culture at Riverbed for a bright future.”
Kennelly gave energetic and colorful messages as Riverbed jostled for a place in the SDN and SD-WAN markets. We were on hand at the 2017 Riverbed Partner Summit when he lambasted Cisco’s IWAN solution when compared to Riverbed’s SteelHead offering. Network World’s Zeus Karravala called him “the firework” of the WAN optimization industry.
— Riverbed (@riverbed) April 4, 2018
“Paul is moving into the role of CEO at a significant time; when businesses of all types are seeking to digitize, thereby requiring the next-gen IT architecture that Riverbed is uniquely positioned to provide,” said Orlando Bravo, a Riverbed board member. “Paul is a strong leader with 30 years of experience running large organizations in the technology and infrastructure markets, and he has demonstrated the ability to drive strategy and vision, inspire high-performing teams, and deliver impactful results that benefit customers, partners and shareholders.”
Riverbed recently announced major changes to its partner program, including performance-based rewards. You’ll hear more from Mountford at the upcoming Riverbed Partner Summit later this month.