Juniper’s New CEO Hits the Afterburner

Juniper’s new CEO, Shaygan Kheradpir, has only been on the job for 23 days, but during Juniper’s fourth quarter fiscal 2013 earning call, he said he already feels like he’s home.

Kheradpir’s tenure as Juniper’s CEO begins on a high note, with the company Juniper CEOreporting positive 2013 results. For the fourth quarter of 2013, Juniper reported revenue of $1.27 billion for a 12 percent year-over-year gain. For the full year, Juniper’s revenue came in at $4.67 billion, a 7 percent year-over-year improvement.

Looking forward to the first quarter of 2014, Juniper provided guidance for revenues to range from $1.12 billion to $1.16 billion. Juniper CFO Robyn Denholm noted that at the midpoint, the Q1 2014 guidance reflects a growth of 8 percent year-over-year, highlighting Juniper’s expectation of continued momentum in the underlying demand.

Growth for Juniper in 2013 came from both its Service Provider and its Enterprise business units. Juniper reported $3.05 billion in Service Provider revenues, up 9 percent for the year, and $1.61 billion in Enterprise revenue, up 4 percent.

During Juniper’s earnings call, Kheradpir discussed some of his views on taking the reins at the networking vendor. Kheradpir formerly held technical leadership roles at Verizon and Barclays.

“My first 3 weeks have been busy,” Kheradpir said during the call. “I have and will continue to engage with our customers, employees, investors and other key stakeholders and I’m actively reviewing the company’s business lines, operating model and capital structure.”

Kheradpir said that he decided to join Juniper because he sees a great opportunity with an iconic and pioneering company that has phenomenal assets, technology and people.

“Juniper uniquely leverages its strength in systems, silicon and software to build the kind of networks that fit where our customers want to be and, importantly, where the market is evolving to,” Kheradpir said. “I know this because I’ve been in this industry for 27 years as a customer, in both the service provider and enterprise sectors.”

Kheradpir added that he sees his role as being “an agent of change” as well, leveraging his deep engineering and technology background to drive efficiencies.

“I intend to restore Juniper’s focus on thoughtful, highly valued accretive innovation and rebuild the get-it-done culture that unleashes the talent of our people,” Kheradpir said. “I’ll be taking a three-pronged approach: focused R&D that matters, radical simplification on automation, and rightsizing.”

It’s an approach that will include detailed milestones as well as accountability for deliverable results.

“I’ve done this all my career,” Kheradpir said. “The team here is excited and energized to hit the afterburner button, so to speak.”

Kheradpir replaces Kevin Johnson in the CEO role at Juniper. Johnson was the CEO of Juniper from July of 2008 until December of 2013. While Johnson joined Juniper from the software world, having previously been at Microsoft, Kheradpir is a networking person. Kheradpir noted that he used to chair the CTOs for telecoms when he was at Verizon and, on the enterprise side, used to chair the CIOs for a number of years.

“Somebody asked me the question the other day and said, ‘How do you feel?’ and I said, ‘Well, I feel like I’m back home,'” Kheradpir said, “in the sense that many of the accounts I go to, they are friends and colleagues from the past.”

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist

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