One year after introducing the world’s first centralised Wi-Fi switching system, Aruba Wireless Networks (Aruba) today named former Cisco Senior Vice President, Don LeBeau as its new president and chief executive officer.
As of January 1, LeBeau has taken over chief executive responsibilities assumed for the last year by co-founder Pankaj Manglik. Manglik will remain a key employee of the company and a member of board of directors. He will work closely with LeBeau on company strategy, international development and operational issues.LeBeau will focus on three key areas of Aruba’s business: building a world-class distribution machine, scaling worldwide operations and forging strategic partnerships that complement and exploit Aruba’s centralised wireless switching system.“2004 will be a year of great change in wireless networking as enterprises clearly recognise mobility as the key driver beyond Wi-Fi and untethered connectivity,” said Don LeBeau, Aruba’s new president and CEO.“Emerging mobile applications demand a new architecture that leverages the existing wired network as transport but is specifically designed to provide unique services to the mobile user.”“Don played a major role in making Cisco the powerhouse that it is today,” said Doug Leone, general partner at Sequoia Capital. “His experience and credibility and are unmatched in today’s wireless startup arena and ideal for taking Aruba to the next level.“As senior vice president of Worldwide Sales and Operations for Cisco Systems, LeBeau was one of a small group of key executives that drove the hyper-growth phase of the company throughout the mid-90s. LeBeau was the key architect of the Cisco sales organisation and distribution strategy. Joining Cisco in 1992 when its revenues were under $350 million, LeBeau retired from the company in 1997 when revenues topped $6 billion.Prior to Cisco, LeBeau was the vice president of Sales for Western Operations at Wang Laboratories. There he was instrumental in the company’s reorganisation and turnaround. LeBeau has held other management positions at United Research and Data General. He started his career at IBM Corporation and held a number of sales and sales management roles over an eight-year period. LeBeau has spent the last six years as an angel investor and serving on the boards of a number of technology companies.“Aruba has arguably re-defined the enterprise wireless landscape and is considered a leader in this space by any measure,” said LeBeau. “The founders and management team have built what I believe is a company and market segment poised for explosive growth over the next decade.”