Juniper EVP Muglia abruptly quits

Bob Muglia, executive vice president of Juniper Networks' software solutions division, has abruptly resigned from the company following the appointment of a new CEO.

Juniper confirmed Muglia's departure via this e-mailed statement: "We can confirm that Bob Muglia is leaving Juniper Networks effective Tuesday, December 10. We thank Bob for his contributions to Juniper and wish him well in his future endeavors.

"(CEO) Kevin Johnson will step in as Acting GM of the software division through the end of the month. He will then transition the organization over to Shaygan Kheradpir when he starts as our new CEO in January. We will be relentlessly focused on our customers through this transition."

The move was first reported on Tuesday by the San Francisco Business Times, which did not give a reason for Muglia's departure, but did outline the compensation package he will receive.

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Juniper named Kheradpir, a former Barclays and Verizon information technology executive, as its new CEO a month ago. Kheradpir replaces Johnson, who last summer announced plans to retire once a new CEO was found.

Muglia, who also worked with Johnson while the two were at Microsoft, was mentioned as a possible replacement for Johnson. But after Johnson's unremarkable five-year tenure at Juniper, many thought it unlikely Juniper would turn to another former Microsoft software executive to assume leadership of the company.

"Muglia, in my opinion, was always a long shot to get the role," said financial analyst, consultant and blogger Nikos Theodosopoulos, a long time Juniper watcher.

Other observers suggested Muglia was comfortable working with Johnson and perhaps did not relish establishing a new relationship with Kheradpir.

Juniper did not say who would assume Muglia's role heading up the company's software business. Muglia developed Juniper's software-defined networking strategy, which relies on a new software licensing model for more of the company's revenue.

Jim Duffy has been covering technology for over 27 years, 22 at Network World. He also writes The Cisco Connection blog and can be reached on Twitter @Jim_Duffy.

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