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IT Is Jayshree Ullal’s Success Story

Jan/03/2022 / by Swarnendu Biswas
jayshree ullal
Image credits: Wikipedia

Jayshree Ullal is a self-made Indian-American billionaire businesswoman, based in California. Since 2008, she has been the president and CEO of Arista Networks, a computer networking company headquartered in Santa Clara, California.

About Jayshree Ullal

Ullal was born in London, on March 27, 1961, to physicist Sudarajan and Nirmala Vedantham. After spending the first five years of her life there, she studied in Delhi, India, at the Convent of Jesus & Mary. She graduated with a B.S. in electrical engineering from San Francisco State University. Ullal got her master’s degree in engineering management from Santa Clara University in California.

Ullal began her career in the early 1980s with Advanced Micro Devices, after which she joined Fairchild Semiconductor. She went on to design high-speed memory chips for IBM and Hitachi. She moved to Ungermann-Bass, in 1988, as her interests grew in marketing, going on to become director of internetworking products. At that time, the company made $40 million a year developing and selling networking products.

She moved to Crescendo Communications, a computer networking company, where she became vice president of marketing. At Crescendo, Ullal worked with the first CDDI products for networking and first-generation Ethernet switching.

Making Her Mark

In 1993, she became part of Cisco Systems when it purchased Crescendo Communications.

Ullal helped Cisco’s switching business move up to $5 billion in annual sales and oversaw more than 20 mergers and acquisitions as she went on to become a senior vice president. Directly reporting to John Chambers, then CEO of Cisco, she worked in the company for 15 years.

In 2008, Ullal became CEO and president of cloud networking startup Arista Networks, which she helped to grow into a global leader in networking technology. When Ullal joined the then four-year-old Arista it was low on revenue and had 50 employees. She helped it become a specialized market leader in Ethernet switches and open-source cloud software.

Under her leadership, Arista Networks had its IPO on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014. It made $2.4 billion in 2019.

Ullal reportedly owns about 5 percent of stocks of Arista, some of which is set aside for her two children, niece and nephew.

Awards and Accolades

Named one of Barron’s “World’s Best CEOs” in 2018 and one of Fortune’s “Top 20 Business Persons” in 2019, Ullal joined the board of directors of Snowflake, a cloud computing company that went public in September 2020.

She has earned much recognition over the years, possibly the most prestigious one being E&Y’s ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ award in 2015.


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