Aryaka’s recently appointed CEO Matt Carter is making big changes to the SD-WAN provider’s executive team, adding three new C-level executives to the company. These three appointments include naming Karen Freitag as chief revenue officer (CRO), Michelle Owczarzak as chief transformation officer, and Shashi Kiran as chief marketing officer (CMO).
Freitag is replacing Mike Hoffman as CRO. Hoffman served in the position for a year before departing the company in November to become the CRO at Yotascale, an autonomous cloud operations startup.
Freitag joins Aryaka from Rivada Networks where she served as the executive vice president (EVP) of worldwide sales. Prior to Rivada, Freitag served as the president of Sprint’s global enterprise business unit where she oversaw the provider’s IoT, wholesale, and SD-WAN businesses.
Kiran succeeds Gary Sevounts as CMO. Sevounts left Aryaka in October after three years in the role to serve as the CMO at Kount, a security and fraud prevention firm. Kiran most recently served as the CMO at cloud and DevOps software provider Quali. Prior to that, he acted as CMO of Appcity, which was acquired by A10 Networks, and he held a number of positions at Cisco over the course of nine years.
Owczarzak is filling a new position at Aryaka. Previously, she served as the senior vice president (SVP) of sales at Inteliquent, a cloud-based unified communications provider. Aryaka’s CEO Carter also worked at Inteliquent, where he was the president and CEO. In the role of chief transformation officer, Owczarzak will help Aryaka track, execute, and provide business value as it continues to grow its business and operations.
These are just the most recent hires in a leadership shakeup that began last September, when Aryaka named Carter CEO, replacing former CEO John Peters after only five months in the role. And while Aryaka did not address Peters’ quick departure from the firm, his LinkedIn profile states that Peters provides “Interim CEO/COO and CEO coaching services to venture capital community.”
Aryaka also hired a new SVP of customer success in December of last year. Deepak Kumar joined from a Sequoia portfolio company, 7.ai, where he acted as general manager and SVP in the customer experience domain.
Aryaka has a unique SD-WAN that differentiates it from the other players in the market. It has invested in building a global private network. It built this network by buying Layer 2 capacity from Tier 1 and Tier 2 service providers.
In October, Carter spoke to SDxCentral about the future of Aryaka and his plans to turn the firm into a more aggressive competitor in the SD-WAN market. He said that he wanted to take Aryaka to the next stage of growth and noted that this could be as an independent company, a public company, or even as an acquisition.
Newly appointed CMO Kiran wrote in an email to SDxCentral that with these appointments Aryaka is “putting our foot on the accelerator here and coming together as a team under Matt’s leadership to scale the growth engine.”