The Benu Networks Team

Mads Lillelund, CEO

Mads is a senior executive, technology evangelist, and global business leader with 20+ years’ 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 Massachusetts 2011 CEO of the Year for privately held companies awarded by the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council. As VP & General Manager of the Bluesocket Business Group within Adtran, he managed the integration of the wireless LAN products into the Adtran product portfolio and oversaw product development, engineering, global sales and marketing.  He serves as a board member and advisor 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, VP Engineering

Ajay is responsible for design, development, and testing of Benu Networks hardware and software products and technology. He brings over 18 years of experience in product development and deep knowledge of building solutions for the telecommunication market. Prior to joining Benu Networks, Ajay spent 13 years at Acme Packet (later acquired by Oracle) as Vice President of the Platform Engineering team responsible for all Acme Packet platforms and media solutions. During his 13 years at Acme Packet, Ajay held various leadership positions, built successful products for Service Provider and Enterprise markets, and led the Platform engineering team that 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.

Rajat Ghai, CTO

As Chief Technology Officer, Rajat is responsible for the company’s technology vision and direction. With over 20 years of Service Provider IP Mobility and Telecommunication technology experience, Rajat brings a unique vision for evolving Service Provider’s networks and services. Most recently, Rajat was Senior Technical Director at Movik Networks, where he set the company’s technical direction and drove important standards development. Rajat’s role at Movik resulted from the acquisition of Fringe Corp., which he founded in 2010 and developed the industry’s first Open Programmable Mobile Internet ™ platform. Prior to Fringe, Rajat held various senior Research & Development and Standard Development roles at innovative companies such as Starent Networks (acquired by Cisco), Sagamore Network (co-founder and acquired by Starent Networks), Excel Switching (acquired by Lucent) and Hughes Software Systems. Rajat is inventor and co-inventor of over 10 patents in the field of communications. Rajat holds a Bachelors of Engineering in Electronics and Communications from National Institute of Technology Silchar, India.

Mark Vella, VP of Sales & Business Development

As Vice President of Sales and Business Development, Mark oversees the global sales team and is responsible for developing Benu’s global eco-system of reseller and technology alliance partners. He has 20+ years experience in Telecommunications and Networking having worked for a number of leading global equipment and solution vendors. Before to joining Benu, Mark spent 9 years at Acme Packet (later acquired by Oracle) where he built out the indirect go-to-market network of NEV, SI, VAR, VAD and Technology partnerships enabling the global distribution of the companies Service Provider and Enterprise SBC solutions. Prior to Acme Packet/Oracle, Mark was responsible for Strategic Alliances at Juniper Networks (via their acquisition of Unisphere Networks) in EMEA developing and managing the companies largest global NEV partner relationships. He has also held Sales and Business Development leadership roles at Unisphere Networks, Tellabs and Newbridge Networks. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Instrumentation Control and System Engineering from Cardiff University.

Patrick Bowen, VP Customer Assurance

As Vice President of Systems Engineering and Customer Assurance, Patrick is responsible for Worldwide Systems Engineering, Software Quality Assurance, Software Sustaining Engineering and Customer Support Organizations. In this role, Patrick is responsible for all customer facing systems engineering and product support aspects of the Benu Platform. With over 25 years of networking experience, Patrick brings a deep knowledge of IP Networking and a successful track record in building customer relationships. Prior to joining Benu, Patrick held a Systems Engineering Management role at Cisco Systems. Patrick was also part of Riverdelta Networks that was acquired by Motorola. Patrick co-founded Aquidneck Web, Rhode Islands largest Internet Service Provider prior to its acquisition by EdgeNet. Patrick holds a B.A. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts.

John DePietro, VP Marketing and Product Management

As VP of Marketing and Product Management, John is responsible for bringing Benu’s innovative solutions to market. Prior to joining Benu, John held a senior Product Management position at Cisco Systems, responsible for Femtocell/Smallcell, Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Rich Communication Suite, SIP/IMS Core, and Converged Messaging product solutions. Previously, John was Director of Product Management at Starent Networks (acquired by Cisco). Previously, John co-founded and served as Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Sagamore Networks (acquired by Starent Networks). In addition, John has held senior Product Management positions at Excel-Switching Corporation (acquired by Alcatel-Lucent), 3Com Corporation, Bay Networks and IDC. John holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Northeastern University.

Frank Cusick, VP Finance

As VP 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, 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.