SAN JOSE -- Storage networking company Brocade, which has been the subject of buyout speculation in recent years, announced the hiring Monday of new CEO Lloyd Carney, who ran upstart competitor Xsigo before it was bought by Oracle (ORCL) last year.

Carney, 50, will succeed Michael Klayko, who announced last summer that he planned to retire from Brocade after running the company since 2005.

Brocade Communications Systems sells computer networking gear that competes with products from bigger companies including Cisco Systems (CSCO) and Juniper Networks, as well as Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), Oracle and Dell. The company has seen sales grow under Klayko, 58, who also opened a new headquarters campus in North San Jose two years ago.


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News reports surfaced last year that Brocade's board was working with investment banker Frank Quattrone to find a buyer for the company, although no deal emerged. A spokeswoman said Monday that Brocade had no comment on whether the company is for sale.

Carney is a veteran tech executive and entrepreneur who was hired in 2008 to run Xsigo, a San Jose startup that developed virtualized networking systems, which incorporate software to use hardware more efficiently. Analysts say software-based networking is an increasingly attractive alternative to traditional networking gear for cloud-computing data centers.

As chief executive at Xsigo, Carney is credited with building out that company and also oversaw its sale to Oracle for an undisclosed sum last July. Tech analyst Brian Marshall, of the ISI Group, suggested Monday that Carney's experience in selling both Xsigo and an earlier company may have been a factor in his hiring.

But Marshall said in a research note that Brocade might still have trouble attracting a buyer because of competition and technology shifts in its storage networking and Ethernet business segments.

Contact Brandon Bailey at 408-920-5022; follow him at Twitter.com/BrandonBailey.