HP NFV Chief Mayer to Become Ixia CEO

Bethany Mayer, who once had overseen HP's networking business, is scheduled to take over the network optimization company in September.

Bethany Mayer

Bethany Mayer, who in February left her job as head of Hewlett-Packard's $2.5 billion networking business to run the vendor's newly created unit for network-functions virtualization, is leaving the company to take over network optimization specialist Ixia.

Ixia officials announced the appointment Aug. 21, and said that Mayer will become the company's president and CEO, and also will join the board of directors.

Mayer comes to the job with more than 25 years of experience on the industry, not only with HP but also with Cisco Systems, Apple and Blue Coat Systems.

She said in a statement that "Ixia is at the forefront of enabling the development, deployment, monitoring and security of mobile, virtualized, cloud and wireline networks. It is an honor to build upon Ixia’s strong legacy and foundation at this pivotal time for the company and the networking industry."

She will take over a company that has had some rocky times over the past year or so. The previous president and CEO, Vic Alston, resigned in October 2013 after questions about his academic history were raised. The board found that while Alston attended Stanford University, he did not receive degrees from the school. He also had given the company an incorrect age and early employment history, according to Ixia officials.

Since then, Errol Ginsberg, Ixia board chairman, founder, former CEO, and chief innovation officer, has been in the role of acting CEO. In addition, Ixia also is trying to get up-to-date on its quarterly filings for the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Nasdaq has given Ixia until Sept. 12 to get its filings current. Once that happens, Mayer will take over as CEO.

"Today’s networking trends are revolutionary, not evolutionary, and virtualization is playing a key role in the transformation of service provider and enterprise networks around the world," Ginsberg said in a statement. "Therefore, it was paramount for Ixia to find a candidate intimately involved with these new networking technologies, and we believe Bethany is the ideal executive to build upon Ixia’s industry leading foundation."

In an interview with eWEEK in April, Mayer touted HP's open approach to network-functions virtualization (NFV), which along with software-defined networking (SDN) is designed to enable enterprises and service providers to build highly flexible, automated and programmable networks that quickly adapt to changing demands bought on by such trends as mobile computing, big data, virtualization and the cloud. She said HP's portfolio gave it a lead over SDN and NFV competitors.

"We are so far ahead of them," Mayer said. "We are two years ahead of them as far as our solutions go."