McHugh was known in the industry as the 'Godfather of ProCurve' prior to his shock departure in June 2008. Having spent 26 years with HP, he resurfaced as general manager of Nortel's Enterprise Solutions wing nine months after his departure.
In between the two roles, McHugh worked for private equity house Silver Lake Partners, where he focused on mergers and acquisitions. Silver Lake co-owns comms vendor Avaya, which bought Nortel Enterprise Solutions last year.
McHugh has now been tasked with overseeing Brocade's marketing operations, as well as the vendor's strategic alliances. Brocade is a fairly new name in the comms world, having bought into the market through its acquisition of Foundry Networks in December 2008. McHugh claimed that now was an exciting time to be joining the firm.
"Brocade is extremely well-positioned to capitalise on the enormous opportunities in the growing IT sector,” he said. “I am thrilled to be joining the company at such a pivotal point of transformation as we bring the vision of the future of networking to Brocade’s broad base of customers and partners.”
Brocade chief executive Michael Klavko claimed the networking arena would be a high-growth area for his firm in the coming years.
“I am delighted to bring someone of John’s calibre and unique expertise to Brocade," he added. "His thought leadership and insight into the networking industry will help drive our market and mind share in a space that represents significant future growth for the company.
"His proven track record for transforming businesses through periods of expansion and innovation make him a strategic member of my executive team, who will bring Brocade’s vision of the next-generation enterprise network to market.”
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