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OpenDaylight Project Announces Leadership Transition

By February 20, 2017March 28th, 2017Foundation News

OpenDaylight Project Announces Leadership Transition

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 20, 2017– The OpenDaylight Project, the leading open source platform for programmable, software-defined networks, today announced Neela Jacques is leaving to join Bain Capital Ventures as an Entrepreneur in Residence.  Phil Robb, newly appointed Vice President of Operations for Networking and Orchestration at the Linux Foundation will serve as Interim Executive Director of OpenDaylight.

“I’m incredibly proud of the amazing accomplishments the OpenDaylight Project has made in the past four years. When I took over as Executive Director of the OpenDaylight Project, the concept of a community-driven project working in unison to develop a programmable, flexible network infrastructure based on open source seemed implausible,” said Jacques. “We not only achieved our goal and created a vibrant, united community, but we continue to innovate and push the industry forward. OpenDaylight has evolved into a modular open SDN platform for networks of any size and any scale. I’m excited to explore new opportunities at Bain Capital Ventures and I know that I leave the OpenDaylight community in the best of hands with Phil and the incredible team that he and I have built.”

“Neela carefully crafted a vision for OpenDaylight that’s proven successful and positions us well for future progress as The Linux Foundation continues to aid the networking and telecommunications industries to retool for the next wave of innovation,” said Jim Zemlin, Executive Director, The Linux Foundation. “We appreciate the significant role Neela played in establishing the Linux Foundation as the premier home for open source networking projects and wish him continued success in his new endeavors. With a robust community behind it, OpenDaylight will continue to evolve and prosper with Phil as its leader steering the project forward.”

As the Linux Foundation’s most mature open networking project, OpenDaylight is central to the organization’s growing portfolio of networking projects, ranging from data plane to control plane and service orchestration. Arpit Joshipura, recently named General Manager, Networking and Orchestration for the Linux Foundation, is working closely with Robb to better align the different components in the open source networking ecosystem with the goal of rapidly increasing deployments.

“It has been a true pleasure to work with Neela, nurturing OpenDaylight from a small start-up project to one of the most-deployed open SDN technologies in existence today,” said Robb. “We have a vibrant community of more than 2,000 vendor, user and individual developers who recently delivered our fifth platform release, Boron.”

OpenDaylight is delivering on its mission to unite the industry around a common SDN platform that can be individually leveraged, extended and monetized. Jacques’ leadership inspired major milestones including large-scale, commercial deployments among global service providers, telecommunications companies and enterprises. OpenDaylight counts all tier-one North American carriers, Orange and Telefonica in Europe and the top three Chinese carriers China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom as members or consumers of the technology. OpenDaylight also is the basis for solutions from Brocade, Red Hat, Ericsson and HPE among others.

“Because of both his passionate evangelism and tireless commitment to behind-the-scenes details, OpenDaylight is a major force in the market,” said François Lemarchand, OpenDaylight Board Member and Head of NFVI Product Strategy, Ericsson. “He’s cultivated a commercially meaningful ecosystem based on OpenDaylight – pointing the community in the direction necessary to address real-world networking pain points.”

“The OpenDaylight Project’s goal is to unite the networking industry and advance the state of the art of SDN through open source collaboration,” said Chris Wright, OpenDaylight Chairperson and Vice President and Chief Technologist, Red Hat. “Neela has been at the helm of the OpenDaylight Project, carefully listening to our diverse community, encouraging all forms of participation, engaging with the industry, and striving to find alignment across competing goals. His steady hand and tireless advocacy for both the open source community and the developing commercial ecosystem has helped OpenDaylight realize our core goal of uniting and advancing the networking industry.”

“It is nearly impossible to overstate how rare it is to find somebody like Neela, who brings an immense set of leadership skill, business knowledge and strategic direction to a project like OpenDaylight, while still honoring the open source project’s allegiance to its developer community first and foremost,” said Colin Dixon, OpenDaylight Technical Steering Committee Chair, and Distinguished Engineer, Brocade. “Neela has formed deep bonds with huge swaths of the developers and earned the respect of the entire community in a way that very few people expected and even fewer could have accomplished. His ability to bring the whole community and stakeholders together to chart our course has been instrumental for OpenDaylight’s success and his presence will continue to be felt not only in OpenDaylight but in the open source networking ecosystem for some time to come.”

In his new role, Jacques will be working with Managing Director Enrique Salem, former president and CEO of Symantec (Nasdaq: SYMC), out of Bain Capital Venture’s San Francisco and Palo Alto offices. With a focus on the infrastructure space, Jacques will explore early stage companies and new ventures for the firm, leveraging his broad industry connections, vast networking expertise and knowledge of adjacent high-growth technologies such as containerization and blockchain.

About the OpenDaylight Project

The OpenDaylight Project is a collaborative open source project that aims to accelerate the adoption of Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) for a more transparent approach that fosters new innovation and reduces risk. Founded by industry leaders and open to all, the OpenDaylight community is developing a common, open SDN framework consisting of code and blueprints. Get involved:

OpenDaylight is a Collaborative Project at The Linux Foundation. Linux Foundation Collaborative Projects are independently funded software projects that harness the power of collaborative development to fuel innovation across industries and ecosystems.

Additional Resources

∙       OpenDaylight Blog