Leadership

Forward Networks was founded in July, 2013 by four Stanford Ph.D.s with extensive backgrounds in networking and software architecture and who had done pioneering research in Software Defined Networking (SDN).

Since then, they have grown with executive leadership and development expertise from many of the leading companies in the industry including Apple, Cisco, Facebook, Google, Juniper, Microsoft, Riverbed and Zscaler.

Management Team

David Erickson
Co-Founder and CEO

David holds a PhD in Computer Science from Stanford. He is a contributor to the OpenFlow spec and the author of Beacon, the OpenFlow controller at the core of commercial products from Big Switch Networks, Cisco, and others, and open source controllers such as Floodlight and OpenDaylight. His thesis used SDN to improve virtualized data center performance.

Brandon Heller
Co-Founder and CTO

Brandon received his PhD in Computer Science from Stanford. Involved in OpenFlow before it had that name, he served as main editor of the spec for three years, seeing it grow from an academic prototype to a real tool for industry. His more recent projects include energy-efficient data centers (ElasticTree) and flexible network emulation (Mininet).

Ryan Mac Ban photo

Ryan Mac Ban
VP Global Sales

Ryan is Vice President of Global Sales, responsible for field sales, sales engineering, customer channel development and customer success. He was a Vice President at Cisco Systems within the Global Architectures and Security Sales organization. Ryan also led North American Sales for Nicira prior to the acquisition by VMware.

Peyman Kazemian
Co-Founder

Peyman received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford. His dissertation showed novel ways to troubleshoot and verify the correctness of networks. Previously, he created and taught SDN Academy courses, worked at Google and Ericsson, and was part of the team at Stanford that developed OpenFlow and SDN.

Nikhil Handigol
Co-Founder

Nikhil is a Computer Science PhD from Stanford. As a member of the Stanford team that pioneered SDN/OpenFlow, his research focused on using SDN principles for systematic network troubleshooting (NetSight), flexible network emulation (Mininet), and smart load-balancing (Aster*x). Previously, he worked at SDN Academy, ON.Lab, and Cisco.

Chiara Regale photo

Chiara Regale
VP Product Management

As Vice President of Product Management, Chiara is responsible for product strategy and business development. Prior, Chiara was a Director of Product Management for the Insieme business unit at Cisco. She has also held various senior management roles at Riverbed and Cisco, focusing on product, go-to-market and business development strategies.

Lisa Garvey
VP Marketing

As VP, Marketing, Lisa is responsible for building awareness and creating demand for Forward Networks’ groundbreaking solution. Prior to joining the team at Forward, Lisa served as VP, Marketing at Mojo Networks, leading to their successful acquisition by Arista Networks. A Silicon Valley veteran, she has held senior marketing and IT roles at startups and larger enterprises, including Netscape, Pelican Imaging, and Rambus.

Backed by Top-Tier Investors

Forward Networks is backed by a group of leading investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, DFJ,  and A.Capital.