Update on Arista’s Road to IPO

From the search terms for this blog, I know many of you have a strong interest in learning about Arista Networks’ plans for an IPO.

I intended to touch on the company’s IPO plans within a larger post on its strategy for software-defined networking (SDN), but I’ve decided that the two threads should be addressed separately.

So, where does Arista Networks stand with its IPO plans? I believe the company is still very much on track for an IPO, though forecasting a specific date for such an event is not something I’ll do here. I would say that an IPO remains Arista’s preferred exit strategy. I don’t see the company selling to Cisco or to anybody else before a public offering. Sources say that Arista already has been approached by potential acquirers, but that it wasn’t interested in pursuing that option.

Looking for CFO

In that context, remember that Arista is not a VC-funded company. It has been financed by its principals, and it controls its own destiny. As such, Arista is not under external pressure to consider or reconsider buyout propositions.

At the moment, Arista does not have a chief financial officer (CFO). Last fall, at the same time the company announced the addition of two independent board members, Steffan Tomlinson joined Arista as its chief financial officer.  He left the company after just a few months, however, and is now CFO at network-security player Palo Alto Networks. Previously, Tomlinson served as CFO at Aruba Networks when it went public in 2007.

Nobody is saying much about the circumstances of Tomlinson’s departure from Arista. Sources say that the parting of the ways had nothing to do with Arista’s financial performance. As noted above, all reports suggest the company remains on track for an IPO. Before long, we should see an announcement regarding the hiring of a new CFO.

All of you who have been seeking an update on Arista’s IPO plans — and I know there are many of you — now have one.

4 responses to “Update on Arista’s Road to IPO

  1. Press reports indicate that they had multiple suitors. My guess is DELL looked at them prior to Force10. Perhaps IBM. Perhaps ORCL?

    • I have heard that Dell definitely made an approach. I also have heard that there was serious interest from HP. A rumor about interest from IBM made the rounds, too.

      That said, I have every reason to believe that Arista will remain committed to building its own business as it progresses toward an IPO.

      • Thanks. Cant wait for them to file some financials to see their revenue growth and margins. Extreme BDX-8 seems to have caught up in terms of latency and density. Will be interesting to see if Extreme can get some Arista like traction

  2. IBM will never buy this. There are much bigger fish to fry.

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