The Benu Networks’ Team

Mads Lillelund, CEO

Mads is a senior executive, technology evangelist, and a global business leader with 20+ years of experience growing businesses and leading high tech companies. He was previously CEO of Bluesocket, which under his leadership became an industry pioneer in cloud managed Wi-Fi. This success prompted the sale of the company to ADTRAN in 2011.  While at Bluesocket, Mads was named the 2011 CEO of the Year for privately held companies awarded by the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council. As Vice President and General Manager of the Bluesocket Business Group within ADTRAN, he managed the integration of the wireless LAN products into ADTRAN’s product portfolio and oversaw product development, engineering, global sales and marketing.  Mads serves as a board member and adviser to several tech firms. He has lived in Europe, Africa, and the U.S., and worked extensively throughout North America, Europe and Asia.  Mads holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Baylor University, a Master’s in Business Administration from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and is a graduate of the Executive Management program at INSEAD.

Ajay Manuja, Vice President of Engineering

Ajay is responsible for the design, development, and testing of Benu Networks’ hardware and software solutions. He brings over 18 years of experience in product development and a deep knowledge of building solutions for the telecommunications market. Prior to joining Benu Networks, Ajay was the Vice President of Platform Engineering at Acme Packet (later acquired by Oracle) and was responsible for all of Acme Packet’s platforms and media solutions. During his 13 years at Acme Packet, he held various leadership positions, built successful products for the service provider and enterprise markets, and led the platform engineering team which was part of a successful IPO. Ajay holds a Bachelor Degree in Computer Engineering from University of Pune, India and Master’s Degree in Computer Science from University of Massachusetts.

Frank Cusick, Vice President of Finance

As Vice President of Finance, Frank is responsible for all finance, accounting and administrative functions at Benu Networks.  He has more than 20 years of experience in early-stage, technology companies.   Prior to joining Benu Networks, Frank was the Chief Financial Officer at neoSaej Corp., a venture funded provider of real-time online consumer auctions.  He has previously held senior financial management positions at BIO-key International, Inc., Parametric Technology Corp. and Cascade Communications Corp. Frank holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Boston College and a Masters of Business Administration Degree from Bentley University.

Juan Luis Esteban, Vice President of Solutions Architecture

As Benu Networks’ Vice President of Solutions Architecture, Juan Luis Esteban is a technology evangelist responsible for working cross functionally to drive technical engagements with customers and ecosystem partners.  Previously, he was the Senior Director of Solutions Architecture for the Communications Global Business Unit (CGBU) at Oracle where he led the Solutions Architecture team in the EMEA region covering all of Acme Packet’s solutions.  Prior to Oracle, Juan Luis held various positions at Acme Packet (later acquired by Oracle) within the EMEA region, including Vice President of Solutions Architecture, Director of Solutions Architecture, Technical Director of Business Development, and Manager of Systems Engineering.  He earned a Master’s Degree in Telecommunications Engineering from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) in Madrid, Spain

Michael Ruhland, Vice President of Business Development

Michael Ruhland has 25 years of experience in telecommunications technology, from both an enterprise and service provider perspective.  He is responsible for managing and expanding Benu Networks’ strategic relationships and partner ecosystem.  Prior to Benu Networks, Michael worked at Acme Packet (later acquired by Oracle) in technical and commercial roles which were primarily partner and customer facing.  Previously, he worked in technology consulting and internal I.T. positions.  Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from St. Mary’s University in Minnesota with a double major in Telecommunications Systems & Design, and Marketing.

Alkesh Patel, General Manager of Sales, EMEAI

Alkesh Patel has over 25 years of experience in telecommunications.  As Benu Networks’ General Manager of Sales for EMEAI, he has overseen the sales launch of the Virtual Service Edge platform which enables service providers to offer business Wi-Fi and security services to the SoHo/SME market. Prior to Benu Networks, Alkesh was head of Infrastructure Sales for Motorola EMEA. Previously, he served in various V.P. positions within Sales at MetaSolv, Orchestream and Netrix. Alkesh also held positions at C&W, Gandalf & Infotron. He holds a BSc (Joint Honors) in Chemistry & Biology from Surrey University.