Extreme Networks Names a New CEO

Charles Berger, who replaces Oscar Rodriquez, is the former CEO of ParAccel, a software analytics vendor that was sold this month to Actian.

Extreme Networks officials will announce the company's first-quarter financial numbers April 30, and on hand will be the company's new CEO.

Charles Berger, the top executive of analytic database software startup ParAccel until its sale April 25 to Actian, is taking over the CEO and president slots at Extreme, which is trying to find its financial footing in the highly competitive enterprise networking industry.

Berger is replacing Oscar Rodriguez, who spent almost three years as CEO. Rodriguez resigned April 25, the same day Berger was named to the position.

"We are pleased to have Chuck as our leader to drive the continued development and delivery of Extreme Networks market leading technology for our customers and to focus the team on growing shareholder value," Ed Meyercord, chairman of Extreme's board of directors, said in a statement. "Our Board of Directors unanimously agreed that Chuck's track record of execution and his extensive contacts in the technology industry make him the right leader for Extreme Networks with the enormous amount of change going on in data networking today."

Berger comes to a company that competes with the likes of Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard and Juniper Networks, and in a networking market that is in a state of flux with new technologies such as software-defined networking (SDN) and network-function virtualization (NFV). Officials with the 15-year-old company say that Extreme has sold its Ethernet networking products to more than 6,000 customers in more than 50 countries. However, the vendor has had some difficult financial quarters, reporting Jan. 30 that during the last three months of 2012, the company saw revenues fall 9 percent, to $75.6 million, and lost $4.2 million.

At the same time, Extreme executives noted in a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it was cutting about 90 jobs—or 13 percent of its workforce—in hopes of saving $7 million in expenses. It was only the latest round of job cuts at the company over the last four years.

Still, the company is pushing ahead with its product roadmaps, including enhancing its ExtremeXOS networking operating system and aggressively pursuing an SDN strategy. The company last year announced it would support the OpenFlow controller protocol in all of its switches, and in February announced that the newest version of ExtremeXOS, v15.3, supports the SDN portfolio of Big Switch Networks, applications from NEC, and OpenFlow and OpenStack Quantum, both key SDN initiatives.

Berger noted the company's SDN efforts when he took over Extreme.

"I look forward to working with our dedicated employees to continue to introduce innovative products, change the dynamics of the switching market with our SDN capabilities and serve our customers globally," he said in a statement.

Before ParAccel, Berger was CEO of DVDPlay, Nuance Communications, Vicinity, AdForce and Radius. He also was an executive in sales, marketing and finance at Apple and Sun Microsystems.

Berger also is a director of Official Payments Holdings and a trustee of Bucknell University. He received his B.S. in business administration from Bucknell and his MBA from the University of Santa Clara.