The sale of IBM’s networking business might have been a catalyst for the departures, although IBM continues to develop its SDN platform, called Software Defined Networking for Virtual Environments (SDN VE).
An Ericsson spokesman confirms that Gopal is working under Erik Ekudden, who is Ericsson’s head of technology strategy. Further details of Gopal’s new job remain unclear, but it seems likely he would continue working on SDN in an OpenDaylight context.
Just after OpenDaylight was announced in April 2013, Gopal gave a keynote presentation at the Open Networking Summit outlining the project’s plan. You can also watch this video of his presentation at the Software-Defined Data Center Symposium in the fall of 2013.
Despite its pledges to remain open, OpenDaylight was initially viewed with suspicion by users and by many vendors, as Cisco and IBM had been heavily involved in launching the project. Recently, though, many of the large vendors have upped their commitments to the project by becoming platinum members, Intel and Dell being two of the most recent examples.
(UPDATE 12/23: Corrected Erik Ekkuden’s title to head of technology strategy, not head of industry initiatives, which is a job he’d held previously.)