Daily Archives: March 12, 2010

Brocade Executive’s Departure Linked to Slumping Sales of Ethernet Switches

Catching up on industry news this week, I notice that Jim Duffy of Network World wrote a piece on the recent departure from Brocade of Marc Randall, a senior vice president.

A former CEO at Force10 Networks, Randall joined Brocade early in 2009 and was responsible for “products and offerings.” Duffy makes the case, well supported by circumstantial evidence, that Randall’s departure was linked to Brocade’s disappointing sales of Ethernet switches obtained in its $2.6-billion acquisition of Foundry Networks in 2008.

UBS analyst Nikos Theodosopoulos believes Randall was let go by Brocade. He points out that Foundry switch sales have been weak. The analyst cites market growth of more than 20 percent in the last quarter for Brocade’s Ethernet-switch rivals, whereas Brocade’s own switch sales were down 24 percent.

Brocade has acknowledged that its OEM sales strategy, involving sales to vendors such as IBM and Dell, is failing to meet expectations. A shakeup of the program has been promised, and John McHugh, formerly a senior executive at Nortel and (most notably) HP ProCurve, recently joined Brocade as chief marketing officer.

Ensconced in his new role, McHugh immediately offered some choice words regarding his former colleagues at HP.


Google’s China Problems Cause Motorola to Explore Smartphone Search Alternatives

Uncertain about how Google’s dispute with China will be resolved, technology partners who license Google’s search and other online services are making contingency plans for the Chinese market.

Given the robust growth of China’s mobile marketplace, it’s no surprise that handset vendors are at the front of the queue. Motorola, which licenses Google Android and offers other Google services on its new smartphones, established a search partnership with Baidu earlier this year and now it’s added one with Microsoft, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Pursuant to terms of the deal, Motorola will offer Microsoft’s Bing search and map capabilities on its smartphones in China beginning this quarter.

When Google first devised its strategy for Android, I’m sure it didn’t envision a future in which its handset partners bundled Bing as their mobile search engine. Then again, I’m sure Google didn’t anticipate that its relationship with China would become so strained.