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Juniper appoints Barclays executive Shaygan Kheradpir CEO

(Reuters) - Network gear maker Juniper Networks Inc named Barclays Plc's chief operations and technology officer, Shaygan Kheradpir, as successor to Chief Executive Kevin Johnson.

Kheradpir joined Barclays in January 2011. Before that, he was executive vice president and chief information and technical officer at Verizon Communications Inc.

Analysts said Kheradpir's appointment indicates Juniper is likely to focus more on software-based networking and services.

"We expect Mr. Kheradpir to sharpen Juniper's focus in Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) given investor skepticism around the company's strategy in this area," Wedbush Securities analysts wrote in a note.

Some of the world's biggest technology companies, such as Cisco Systems Inc, Oracle Corp and Microsoft Corp have been investing in SDN, a technology that allows users to substitute some of the most complex hardware functions in server switches with software.

Juniper acquired SDN firm Contrail Systems for $176 million in December.

NFV separates network functions like caching from hardware appliances so they can run in software.

Kheradpir was instrumental in several key initiatives at Verizon such as FiOS, interactive TV, high-speed data and carrier-grade VoIP, UBS analyst Amitabh Passi said.

Verizon's fiber optic service (FiOS) bundles television, Internet and telephony services.

Kheradpir will take up his new job on January 1, Juniper said on Wednesday.

Barclays' head of compliance and regulation, Hector Sants, also resigned from the British bank on Wednesday.

Johnson, who has been CEO since September 2008, said in July he would retire once a successor was found.

Juniper's shares were down about 2 percent at $19.23 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Neha Alawadhi and Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bangalore; Editing by Ted Kerr and Joyjeet Das)

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