Management Team

Douglas Murray


Doug brings a wealth of global technology leadership to Big Switch. He came to Big Switch from Juniper Networks, where he held various roles including senior vice president and GM of the data center security business and senior vice president of Asia Pacific, Japan and Greater China. A seasoned general manager with broad data center expertise and a successful background in advanced technologies, Doug guides the company’s strategy as its bare metal switching-based SDN products launch into a rapidly growing market. He holds a BA in history and political science from Colgate University and an MBA from Johns Hopkins University.

Guido Appenzeller


Guido is the Co-Founder of Big Switch Networks. Before co-founding Big Switch Networks, he was a Consulting Assistant Professor at Stanford University and head of the Clean Slate Lab where he led the research team that developed the OpenFlow v1.0 standard and the reference switch and controller implementations. Guido previously was CTO of Voltage Security, an enterprise software company that he co-founded and grew from zero to profitability and over 1000 Enterprise customers. He was named a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum and holds a PhD in Computer Science from Stanford University and a MS in Physics from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.

Kyle Forster

Vice President of Marketing / Co-Founder

Kyle spent most of his career at Cisco, initially as the technical assistant to SVP Mike Volpi and later as a Product Manager in the cellular and wifi business units. He launched three v1.0 products in wireless and security and finished his time there managing a ~$100 million portfolio of Cisco’s WLAN Controllers. In between Cisco and Big Switch Networks, he was VP of Product Management at Joost, a peer-to-peer TV-over-the-Internet company from the founders of Skype. He started his career at eBusiness consulting company Scient, first as a java developer and later engineering manager and co-founder of the wireless practice. He holds a BSE in Electrical Engineering from Princeton, a MS in Computer Science and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Prashant Gandhi

Vice President of Product Management

Prashant joined Big Switch from Cisco where he was responsible for driving product strategy and management of the Cisco ONE Controller, Nexus 1000V virtual switch, VXLAN-based network virtualization as well as Cisco’s SDN and cloud network services product and go-to-market strategy.  He came to Cisco in 2009 through the acquisition of Rohati Systems where he was CEO and co-founder. At Big Switch, he oversees the company’s complete Open SDN Suite, which includes Cloud Fabric, Big Tap Monitoring Fabric and Switch Light, as well as Project Floodlight open source projects, including the Floodlight controller, Indigo and other applications contained with the project. He holds a PhD. in electrical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.

Joe Palazola

Vice President of Operations and Customer Support

Joe has more than 25 years of experience helping businesses scale up by reducing operating friction and improving customer satisfaction. Most recently, he was Vice President of Operations and Customer Escalations at Juniper Networks where he managed operations teams spanning all key functions of the Security Business Unit in addition to customer engineering teams responsible for solving the most complex customer cases. Before Juniper, he held leadership and key operational roles at Extreme Networks, Sun Microsystems and AT&T Business Services.  Joe has a BA in computer hardware from Wentworth Institute of Technology and a Masters in computer hardware from Northeastern University.

Jeffrey Wang

Vice President of Engineering

Jeffrey is a seasoned engineering leader who has been instrumental in driving and delivering some of the networking industry's most important innovations. He has held a variety of engineering leadership positions in data center compute infrastructure, switch software, physical switching fabrics and hypervisor virtual switching. With a 15-year career at Cisco, he was most recently Vice President of Engineering in the Data Center Group with responsibilities ranging from Cisco's Unified Computing System (UCS) software to hypervisor switching and I/O technologies such as the Virtual Machine Fabric Extender (VM-FEX) and the Nexus 1000v vSwitch. Earlier in his career, he managed the software development team of the Cisco Catalyst 6500, the most widely used data center switch in the industry, and drove the popular Virtual Switching System (VSS). He was an engineering leader at Nuova Systems, and most recently, he was Vice President at Brocade responsible for software development of Data Center IP Fabric solutions (VCS/VDX).

Mansour Karam

Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Alliances

Mansour drives business development, strategic alliances, and the partner ecosystem at Big Switch Networks. Prior to Big Switch Networks, he was the first business hire at Arista Networks where he identified the key verticals and developed the early product, marketing, sales and partnership strategy. More recently, he was appointed to run business development for Arista where he built Arista’s partner ecosystem and strategic alliances. Prior to Arista, he was Principal Architect at RouteScience Technologies, which was acquired by Avaya in 2004. He holds more than 10 patents in networking technologies. He has an MS and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and a BEng in Computer Engineering from the American University of Beirut.

Rob Sherwood

Chief Technology Officer

Rob serves as the CTO for Big Switch Networks, where he spends his time internally leading software architecture and externally evangelizing SDN to customers and partners.  Rob is an active contributor to open source projects such as Switch Light and Floodlight as well as the Open Compute Project.  He was the former Chair of the ONF's Architecture & Framework Working Group as well as vice-chair of the ONF's Testing & Interoperability Working Group.  Rob prototyped the first OpenFlow-based network hypervisor, the “FlowVisor”, allowing production and experimental traffic to safely co-exist on the same physical network and is involved in various standards efforts and partner and customer engagements.  Rob holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Maryland, College Park.