Versa Networks Adds to Leadership Team and Board of Directors

Networking Industry Veterans to Lead Versa’s Next Phase of Growth as Kelly Ahuja Named CEO and Pankaj Patel Joins as Lead Director

Santa Clara, CA – November 17, 2016 – Versa Networks, a leading provider of software-defined wide area networks (SD-WAN) and software-defined security (SD-Security) for service providers and enterprises, today announced that Kelly Ahuja has joined the company as chief executive officer, and Pankaj Patel has joined as lead director on Versa’s board of directors. Together, they bring multiple decades of experience and a proven track record of executive leadership, strategy and execution in networking and telecommunications.

“With Versa Networks experiencing immense demand for its platform for SD-WAN and SD-Security, and the wide-area network market now entering the next phase of explosive growth, there are no better people to lead our company than Kelly Ahuja and Pankaj Patel. They are the right leaders at the right time,” said Versa Networks founder, Kumar Mehta. “Over the last four years, I’ve had the privilege of working with the most talented team in the industry at Versa, and I know their passion and hunger for greatness will only grow under Kelly and Pankaj’s direction.”

“Kumar and Apurva have an established reputation for successfully changing industry paradigms with major innovations, and Versa is their most transformative one,” said Kelly Ahuja, CEO, Versa Networks. “I am inspired and truly excited to join them in addressing a huge market opportunity. My focus is on enabling the next stage of growth for Versa and its customers as the wide-area network continues to rapidly evolve.”

Kelly is an eighteen-year veteran of Cisco, serving most recently as senior vice president (SVP) of the Service Provider Business. He held multiple leadership roles during his tenure at Cisco, including SVP/GM of the Mobility Business Group and SVP/GM of the Service Provider Routing Technology Group.

“Kelly is the rare leader who combines world-class leadership and operating skills with deep industry expertise,” said Jim Goetz, partner, Sequoia Capital. “He’s the best person to further cement our leadership in the SD-WAN market and advance our mission to help companies transform their businesses to thrive in the cloud and mobile world.”

Pankaj is a proven results-oriented and seasoned technology leader with 30+ years of experience developing highly scalable products and services by building and leading large, high-performance global engineering organizations. Most recently, Pankaj was Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer at Cisco and drove the business and technology strategy across Cisco’s $38 billion Routing, Switching, Wireless, Security, Mobility, Video, Collaboration, Data Center and Cloud offerings.

About Versa Networks

Founded by network industry veterans, Versa Networks is an innovative vendor of software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) and security (SD-Security). Versa provides a unique and carrier-grade SD-WAN and SD-Security solution that is purely software- and NFV-based, and fully multi-tenant. The solution provides a wide range of virtualized networking and security functions that can be used to create highly scalable and high-value managed services that run on low-cost white box and x86 hardware. Versa SD-WAN and SD-Security are deployed by Tier 1 and 2 providers around the world, as well as several large enterprises. The company is backed by premier venture investors Sequoia, Mayfield, and Verizon Ventures. For more information, visit

Versa Networks Media Contact:

Shefali Sain

(415) 800-5444