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The news is public: Broadcom is acquiring Brocade, my employer. Official announcement here, and some (unofficial) commentary here. What’s happening, and what does it mean for me? There’s limits to what I can say – either because I don’t have the answers, or because it’s not public. But here’s a little bit of info for readers wondering what will happen to me.

What’s Happening?

Broadcom has announced its intention to acquire Brocade for approximately $5.5 billion:

This morning we announced a definitive agreement under which Broadcom will acquire Brocade. Broadcom believes the SAN business is a strong complement to its portfolio of enterprise storage and networking solutions, and its intention is to continue to deliver the market-leading storage networking solutions and innovation for which Brocade is so well known.

When will this happen?

Closing of the transaction is presently expected in the second half of Broadcom’s fiscal year 2017, which ends in October 2017, and is subject to regulatory approvals in various jurisdictions, customary closing conditions as well as the approval of Brocade’s stockholders.

What about the IP business?

This is the tricky bit. Broadcom is well-known as a maker of “merchant silicon,” used by many networking companies. Their Trident and Jericho chipset families are widely used in high-performance switches, e.g. Brocade’s new SLX 9850. If Broadcom retains Brocade’s IP Networking business, it will clash with their other customers. So:

…due to competitive overlap with some of Broadcom’s most important customers, Broadcom will seek a buyer for the business.

OK, when will that happen? Lloyd Carney said this at the all-hands meeting:

When will the transaction of IP business [happen], before or after it closes? For us the best thing would be sooner rather than later. If we could ascertain what that is tomorrow, announce to the world tomorrow and get it transacted the day after that, that’s what I’d want to do.

OK, what does that mean for Lindsay?

I am a Product Manager for Brocade Workflow Composer, based upon StackStorm. That is in the DCIP Business Unit, part of the IP Networking business. So my part of the company will be sold. No announcements have been made as to who will buy the IP Networking business.

What does it mean for me right now? Nothing. Our roadmap hasn’t changed, we’re still releasing products (watch for StackStorm 2.1 real soon now). I can assure you, my to-do list is longer than ever. I think I took one thing off my list, but added 10.

Didn’t you just move to the US?

Yes, yes I did. I moved from New Zealand to San Francisco about 3 months ago.

Does that complicate things?

Yes, yes it does, because my employer sponsored my visa.

Anyone who has dealt with the US immigration system knows that it is…complicated. My visa is tied to my employer. In certain circumstances, that visa can be transferred to a new employer. In other circumstances, it can’t. In my case, it depends upon the nature of the transaction, and the legal structure of the acquiring entity. Like I said, it’s complicated.

Until a buyer is announced, I won’t know if I can stay here. Even then, it will probably take a few more weeks after that before I can get confirmation if I can stay.

Oh well. Que sera, sera.

Best-case scenario, we end up at a great home, and we continue doing cool work on on network automation. Worst-case scenario, maybe I’ll get to do that trans-America bike ride a year or two sooner than planned?

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