Leadership

Management Team

Sujai Hajela

Co-founder and Chief Mist Executive

Sujai Hajela is currently Senior Vice President of Enterprise at Juniper Networks and co-founder, president and CEO of Mist Systems.

Previously, Hajela was Senior Vice President of Product Management and Strategy for Cisco’s Enterprise Networking Group and he was responsible for the vision, solutions, and product strategy of Cisco’s enterprise routing, switching, and mobility portfolios. In that role, his global organization worked directly with customers and partners to create and market networking solutions that help IT navigate technology transitions — including mobility, cloud, intelligent WAN, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Hajela also served as Vice President and General Manager of Cisco’s Wireless and Cloud Networking Group, and he led Cisco’s acquisitions of ThinkSmart and Meraki. He was instrumental in crafting the vision of Cisco Unified Access, an intelligent platform that enables new connected experiences and operational efficiencies to accelerate business innovation and growth.

Before Cisco, Hajela was Vice President and General Manager at Motorola, where he was responsible for the wireless network solutions business, including wireless LAN, wireless security (Air Defense), management (Wireless Valley), wireless broadband, private broadband, and voice over WLAN. In that role, he established Motorola’s vision for the wireless enterprise and drove the development of the distributed next-generation WLAN architecture (WiNG). Hajela has also held global positions with Nortel and Hewlett-Packard.

Hajela holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree in computer science and technology from Bangalore University in India, and a Master of Business Administration degree from Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley.

Randy Frei

Head of Engineering

Randy is the VP of Engineering at Mist, responsible for software, hardware and cloud development.

Prior to Mist, Randy was the head of the IoT division of Ubiquiti (NYSE: UI), developing the industry’s first smart Wi-Fi power strips, wall outlets and dimmers – in addition to IoT gateways, cloud IoT analytics and mobile apps.  Previously he was the CTO of SkyPilot Networks (acquired by Trilliant), a venture capital funded company that developed outdoor wireless mesh equipment.  Randy invented SkyPilot’s long range, synchronous mesh protocol and led the technical development from a couple of developers through commercial release and large deployments, including Wi-Fi networks that covered cities.  Before SkyPilot, he was CTO of UltraDevices, a pioneer of using off-the-shelf Wi-Fi chips for long range wireless and mesh communications.  Earlier he was the Chief Architect of Com21 (Nasdaq: CMTO), an early cable modem startup, joining the early stage team and leading technology through its IPO and growth to $250m/year in sales.  Randy started his career at ITT Aerospace/Communications developing mobile wireless mesh IP routers for the forward area battlefield.

Sudheer Matta

Head of Products

Sudheer Matta is VP of Product Management at Mist, responsible for product strategy and business development. Prior to that Sudheer was running a sales team at Cisco directly responsible for $260M of revenue in the Wireless space.

Previously, Sudheer was Director of Global Enterprise Networking Sales at Cisco, responsible for sales of Cisco’s Enterprise Wired and Wireless networking products. Before this role, Sudheer was Senior Director of Product Management, WLAN Systems for Juniper’s Campus and Branch Product lines. He also led Cisco’s Product Management for Wireless LAN Controllers and WLAN Architecture. Sudheer has spent 10 years in the IEEE and Wi-Fi alliance; Most recently he was the Chair of the Wi-Fi Alliance Healthcare Task Group, and Vice-chair of Wi-Fi Alliance Network Management Task Group. He was the standards lead at Trapeze Networks and for Cisco Product Management. Sudheer has 6 assigned and 2 pending patents including the patent for the widely implemented Band Steering technology. In his engineering roles, Sudheer was the primary architect of the 802.11 implementation in the Trapeze Networks Access points.

Tom Wilburn

Head of Worldwide Sales

Tom Wilburn leads Juniper’s North American Enterprise business and Mist’s global field organization.

He has extensive experience in the wireless and networking industry. Tom had earlier served at Cisco as Vice President of Global Enterprise Networking Sales, responsible for routing, switching and wireless products. Tom was part of the leadership team for Airespace, a wireless company acquired by Cisco in 2005.  Tom led sales for Cisco’s wireless business which at its peak achieved global share of 65% of the enterprise wireless market.  In 2012, Tom was part of the team that acquired Meraki and was responsible for the go-to-market of the combined Cisco-Meraki portfolio. Tom previously held sales leadership roles at startups Xylan and CrossComm and served as Senior Vice President of Alcatel’s North American Enterprise Business.  He is a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Virginia.

Bob Friday

Co-founder and CTO

Bob is CTO and co-founder of Mist, now a Juniper Company.

Bob started his career in wireless at Metricom (Ricochet wireless network) developing and deploying wireless mesh networks across the country to connect the first generation of Internet browsers. Following Metricom, Bob co-founded Airespace, a start-up focused on helping enterprises manage the flood of employees bringing unlicensed Wi-Fi technology into their businesses. Following Cisco’s acquisition of Airespace in 2005, Bob became the VP/CTO of Cisco enterprise mobility and drove mobility strategy and investments in the wireless business (e.g. Navini, Cognio, ThinkSmart, Phunware, Wilocity, Meraki). He also drove industry standards such as Hot Spot 2.0 and market efforts such as Cisco’s Connected Mobile Experience. He holds more than 15 patents.

Laura Perrone

Head of Finance

Laura Perrone is Vice President, SW Operations for Juniper Networks, following the acquisition of Mist Systems in April 2019, where Laura served as Chief Financial Officer.

Prior to joining Mist, Laura served as Chief Financial Officer for Picarro, a leading provider of solutions for the measurement of greenhouse gas emissions, trace gas and stable isotopes, where she was instrumental in commercializing methane leak detection systems for the natural gas industry.  Prior to Picarro, Laura held the position of CFO at Omneon (server and storage systems for the Media industry acquired by Harmonic:HLIT), Icarian (SaaS for Applicant Tracking acquired by Workstream:WSTM), and Rendition, Inc. (Fabless GPU acquired by Micron Tech:MU).  Previously, Laura held senior financial leadership roles at Andor Systems Inc., Trilogy Systems, Inc. and Dictaphone|Pitney Bowes|Artec Int’l.  Laura holds a BS degree in Economics from the University of San Francisco.

Jeff Aaron

Head of Marketing

Jeff Aaron is Vice President of Enterprise Marketing at Juniper.

Jeff Aaron serves as Juniper’s Vice President of Enterprise Marketing, where he is responsible for strategy, product marketing, messaging and positioning for Juniper’s entire enterprise portfolio, which includes wired/wireless access, SD-WAN, data center, and security.  Jeff came to Juniper via the acquisition of Mist systems, where he was VP of marketing and led all strategy, messaging, demand generation, and branding for the industry’s premier AI-driven wireless platform.

Jeff has over 25 years of experience marketing in the high tech space, having worked at various software, networking and telecommunications companies including PernixData, a leading storage acceleration and analytics company (acquired by Nutanix), Silver Peak Systems, Airespace (acquired by Cisco), Turnstone Systems, and Newbridge Networks (acquired by Alcatel). He began his career as a senior consultant at Ernst and Young where he counseled Fortune 100 companies with IT design and planning. Jeff earned his BA from Duke University with majors in Computer Science and Economics.

Rakesh Bhatnagar

Chief of Staff and Head of Engineering Programs

Rakesh Bhatnagar serves as Chief of Staff & Head of Engineering Programs at Mist, where he is responsible for Engineering programs and operations. Prior to Mist, as the VP of Software, Rakesh managed firmware and cloud software development for Picarro’s portfolio of greenhouse gas measurement instruments.

Rakesh has over 30 years of experience in various fields, that include software and hardware development, SaaS applications development, IT, InfoSec, Engineering Operations. Rakesh earned his MS degress from IIT Roorkee, India.