Juniper Dumps Second CEO in a Year
Juniper Networks has dumped its second chief executive in a year’s time as Shaygan Kheradpir, who replaced Kevin Johnson almost exactly a year ago, resigned his post and his board seat in a disagreement over how he handled negotiations with an undisclosed customer.
Juniper Networks (JNPR) has dumped its second chief executive in a year’s time as Shaygan Kheradpir, who replaced Kevin Johnson almost exactly a year ago, resigned his post and his board seat in a disagreement over how he handled negotiations with an undisclosed customer.
The networking equipment maker quickly ascended Rami Rahim, a 17-year company veteran, to its helm, effective immediately, and also granted him a seat on its board.
Kheradpir’s “resignation follows a review by the board of directors of his leadership and his conduct in connection with a particular negotiation with a customer,” the company said in a statement. Juniper said its board and Kheradpir “have different perspectives regarding these matters,” but declined to elaborate.
Rahim previously served as executive vice president and general manager of Juniper’s Development and Innovation unit, overseeing research and development programs, strategy, development and business growth across its portfolio of routing, switching and security products. Rahim worked as an engineer on Juniper’s first product, the M40 core router, and was one of the original architects of its MX flagship routing platform.
Juniper officials said the change at the top will not cause the company to deviate from its strategy or financial targets. The company didn’t say if Rahim will keep his schedule to present at the UBS Global Technology Conference in Sausalito, California, Nov. 19, one of two investor conferences the vendor is slated to participate in this month.
“Rami is the right chief executive officer to lead Juniper,” said Scott Kriens, Juniper chairman. “He is a talented leader who brings deep instincts about the networking industry, and enormous support from our employees and our customers.”
Kheradpir, who replaced Johnson in January, joined the company from Barclays, where he served as chief operations and technology officer. At the time of his appointment, Kriens said Kheradpir’s “values and vision for the company align very tightly with our own.”
On Kheradpir’s watch, Juniper cut costs to increase profits but sales remained flat. Through the September quarter, Juniper’s net income jumped some 51 percent while its revenue grew by less than 4 percent, confounded by changes in the networking market.
Activist investor Elliott Management nipped at Kheradpir’s heels throughout his tenure, demanding cost reductions and stock buybacks until the company yielded with a plan to return some $3 billion to shareholders and to cut $160 million in expenses.