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SDN Pioneer Casado Leaving VMware

SDN pioneer Martin Casado is leaving VMware for the venture capital pastures of Andreessen Horowitz.

Casado, executive vice president and general manager of VMware’s Networking and Security Business, will be replaced by former Broadcom and Cisco executive Rajiv Ramaswami. The transition takes effect April 1.

Casado created OpenFlow, an early catalyst of the software-defined networking movement and a popular initial southbound interface between SDN controllers and switches. He joined VMware when the server virtualization company acquired the SDN start-up he co-founded, Nicira, in 2012.

Andreessen was an investor in Nicira.

+MORE ON NETWORK WORLD: VMware CTO Casado on network virtualization, security and competition with Cisco+

Casado says he’d been contemplating a departure from VMware for two years for a broader role in the industry. He waited, though, until the company’s NSX network virtualization product, obtained in the Nicira acquisition, matured and achieved a healthy run rate.

Andreessen approached him in December, 2015, he says. He will be a general partner there, overseeing infrastructure investments and will also be a strategic advisor to VMware.

Ramaswami most recently was executive vice president and general manager of Broadcom’s Infrastructure & Networking Group. Prior to Broadcom, Ramaswami was vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Cloud Services and Switching Technology Group, and also held vice president and general manager positions for Cisco business units in optical, switching and storage networking.

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