Ernst & Young Announces Big Switch Networks’ Douglas Murray and Kyle Forster as EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017 Northern California Semifinalists

Murray and Forster Selected as Semifinalists for Extraordinary Success in Innovation, Financial Performance and Personal Commitment to Big Switch

SANTA CLARA -- (April 12, 2017) -- Big Switch Networks, The Next-Generation Data Center Networking Company, today announced Douglas Murray, CEO, Big Switch Networks and Kyle Forster, Founder, Big Switch Networks were named semifinalists for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2017 Northern California Region Award.

Murray and Forster were selected as semifinalists by a panel of independent judges for their respective contributions to and guidance of Big Switch. Prior winners for Northern California include Reid Hoffman and Jeff Weiner of LinkedIn, Sergey Brin and Larry Page of Google, Nick Woodman of GoPro, Andreas Bechtolsheim and Jayshree Ullal of Arista Networks and James Park of Fitbit.

Under Murray’s guidance, Big Switch has experienced 40+% average QoQ growth for the last 12 quarters. Since he joined the company in late 2013, headcount has doubled and will have tripled by the end of 2017 to support growing market demand for Big Switch’s products. Prior to joining Big Switch, Murray ran Juniper Networks’ Asia Pacific, Japan and Greater China organization, where he was responsible for all aspects of Juniper's business across the region. Previously he held executive positions at Extreme Networks, Sun Microsystems, as well as his first start-up, Sanrise. He started his career at AT&T as an Account Executive and was part of the AT&T Leadership Development Program. Murray has also been a guest lecturer at the Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business and the Stanford University Graduate School of Business on the topic of entrepreneurialism.

“I am honored to be named an EY Entrepreneur of the Year Northern California semifinalist, and thrilled to be nominated alongside Kyle,” said Douglas Murray, CEO, Big Switch Networks. “Kyle is the embodiment of entrepreneurialism and made a huge bet in starting Big Switch with Guido. I’ve never been more proud of the collective work of incredibly smart people, and it is my honor to lead this amazing organization.” 

Kyle Forster founded Big Switch in 2010, starting the company with longtime friend Guido Appenzeller, the head of Stanford University’s Clean Slate Lab at the time and pioneer of the research that became known as SDN. Forster raised the initial financing, refined the initial ‘one big switch’ product vision, helped recruit the early engineering team and found the company’s first customers. Prior to Big Switch, he spent the formative years of his career at Cisco where he brought three products from concept to revenue and received six patents for cellular, wireless LAN and security inventions. Forster watched as hyperscale companies like Facebook and Google started developing their own networking technologies, out-innovating the legacy vendors’ expensive, proprietary solutions. In the early Stanford research, Forster saw an opportunity to bring hyperscale-inspired design to the broader enterprise community and disrupt what was becoming an increasingly stagnant $50B+ networking industry.

“I am thrilled and humbled to be named a semifinalist for EY Entrepreneur of the Year Northern California. To be nominated alongside Doug makes this recognition all the more meaningful,” said Kyle Forster, Founder, Big Switch Networks. “Doug was born to lead, and there is no one who deserves this recognition more. His leadership of the company has been synonymous with Big Switch’s success.”

Organizations around the world continue to select Big Switch for data center modernization, evidenced by a customer count that more than doubled in 2016 and a rapidly expanding geographical footprint. In Q4 2016 Big Switch established a dedicated presence in EMEA region and in Q3 2016 into China and ANZ regions. In the latest quarter, the company saw more than 100 transactions across 50 of its customers and has more than a dozen customers who have purchased $1M+ in recurring software licenses. Customers are located in more than 25 countries, in verticals that include: technology, financial services, government, media, telecom and higher education.

Big Switch has raised $94M in funding from venture capital firms including: Index Ventures, Silver Lake Waterman, Khosla Ventures, Morgenthaler Ventures, Intel Capital, Greylock Partners, Redpoint, TriplePoint Ventures and more. In 2017 Big Switch was named for the third consecutive year to JMP Securities Super 60 List as well as to CRN’s 2017 SDDC 50 and Data Center 100 lists. Big Switch has also been certified a Great Place to Work from the GPTW Institute, with the company receiving a 93% overall employee satisfaction rating.

Now celebrating its 31st year, the EY awards program recognizes entrepreneurs in over 145 cities and 60 countries who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. Regional award winners will go on to consideration for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards.

Follow all the latest program developments @EY_EOYUS using #EOYNORCAL and visit the Northern California regional website for more information:


About Big Switch Networks

Big Switch Networks is the Next-Generation Data Center Networking Company. We disrupt the status quo of networking by designing intelligent, automated and flexible networks for our customers around the world.  We do so by leveraging the principles of software-defined networking (SDN), coupled with a choice of industry-standard hardware. Big Switch Networks has two solutions: Big Monitoring Fabric, a Next-Generation Network Packet Broker, which enables pervasive security and monitoring of data center and cloud traffic for inline or out-of-band deployments and Big Cloud Fabric, the industry's first Next-Generation switching fabric that allows for choice of switching hardware for OpenStack, VMware, Container and Big Data use cases. Big Switch Networks is headquartered in Santa Clara, CA, with offices located in Tokyo, Sydney, London and Istanbul. For additional information, email, follow @bigswitch, or visit

Big Switch Networks, Big Cloud Fabric, Big Monitoring Fabric, BigSecure, Big Chain, Switch Light OS, and Switch Light VX are trademarks or registered trademarks of Big Switch Networks, Inc. All other trademarks, service marks, registered marks, or registered service marks are the property of their respective owners. 

About EY Entrepreneur Of The Year®

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The unique award makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global award of its kind, Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 145 cities in more than 60 countries.

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