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November 10, 2014

Richard Napolitano named Plexxi CEO

Former EMC executive to drive industry's transition to an application- and data-focused era

By Ellie Burns

Plexxi has named former top EMC executive Richard Napolitano as CEO.

The appointment aims to drive the company’s expansion and help drive the networking industry’s transition to an application- and data-focused era powered by the explosive growth in mobile, social media, cloud and Big Data.

"We stand today at a transition point in the IT landscape," said Napolitano. "This transformation will upend the networking industry as we know it and affect how businesses operate for decades to come. Plexxi has helped define ‘What’s next’ in networking so I’m excited to join the company as Plexxi leads the way into this new IT era and defines the next generation of networking architecture."

"The rise of mobile, Big Data, social media and the Internet of Things are putting new and unprecedented demands on our IT infrastructure," said Richard Fichera, vice president and principal analyst of infrastructure and operations at Forrester Research.

"We’re at the dawn of a new IT era where the application and data are king. These demands require new infrastructure architectural principles because of the limitations of traditional architectures."

As an independent board member with the company, Napolitano and Plexxi founder David Husak worked in tandem to chart the company’s future while preparing to bring Napolitano on board as CEO to scale its growth. Napolitano will continue to work closely with Husak who will serve as executive vice president of strategy and engineering, focusing on the development of Plexxi’s industry-leading networking technology and products.

"When I founded Plexxi, I fully anticipated the transition from building the technology to taking it broadly to market," said Husak. "For any company to break through in a highly competitive market, there must be a strong partnership between the technology vision and commercial leadership. I couldn’t be more thrilled to have someone of Rich’s talent and expertise beside me to lead Plexxi through this transformational market opportunity."

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Napolitano has held many top leadership roles in the technology industry, including president of the Unified Storage Division at EMC Corporation and president and general manager of U.S. sales for Sun Microsystems, which was acquired by Oracle. He also served as chairman, CEO and president of Pirus Networks, which was acquired by Sun, and cofounder and CEO of Data Kinesis, which was acquired by Adaptec.

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