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Tech Guru: Jayashree Ullal

Published: 08th September 2013 12:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th September 2013 12:30 PM   |  A+A-

Her company’s networking products make the backbones of the world’s data centres

In Silicon Valley, if you go beyond the trendy geeks at Google and Apple you will find an Indian-American army of engineers working at less glamorous, but very important tasks. Like wiring up the world. One of the stars of the networking world, dubbed ‘one of the top five most influential people in the networking industry today’ by Forbes, is Jayshree Ullal, the president and CEO of Arista Networks, a cloud networking company whose products make the backbones of the world’s data centres. Ullal, who has a BSc in Electrical Engineering from San Francisco State University and an MSc in Engineering Management from Santa Clara University is that rarity who is great engineer who can also manage a big company.

In the beginning of her 25-year networking career, Ullal worked in various positions at companies like Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Fairchild Semiconductor, Ungermann Bass and Crescendo Communications where she was the vice president of marketing and worked on the first generation of Ethernet switches. When networking giant Cisco Systems acquired Crescendo, Ullal started working on Cisco Catalyst switching business. By the time she left Cisco after 15 years, Ullal has been working as the Senior Vice President of Data Center & Switching and ran a data centre networking business worth over $10 billion. Ullal has been listed as one of the “50 most powerful people” by Network World, and as one of the “20 powerful women-to-watch” by Newsweek.

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