It's all coming out. Ex-Brocade CEO was involved in trying to sell Brocade to Cisco. This is revealed in a Business Week article. The tangled web that is Brocade has just been untangled a little.

Reyes tried to sell Brocade to Cisco in November, 2004. But he was sacked by Brocade's board along with allegations of accounting irregularities concerning stock options. The Business Week article cites three sources saying Reyes may face civil charges from the US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC). Also the US Justice Department may be working on criminal charges.

The article says that Cisco interest dimished after the stock option irregularites were revealed. Relations between Reyes and the board of the company he founded have soured recently. The Business Week story suggests to some that Reyes may have been ousted as a way of preventing the sale of Brocade to Cisco. Alternatively, as Reyes can be seen to be implying, his ouster was a result of the Brocade board's own culpability in the stock options affair.

Now Brocade's SAN switch and director business is under strong competitive pressure from Cisco and the company is looking to software and services for future revenue growth.

Competitor McDATA will be strengthened by this. Brocade's hard-working sales, service, support and product development people will be disgusted at the antics of the board and CEO-level people revealed in the Business Week article. Here is a great company with great products having its reputation besmirched, not through any product or market failings, but through dot com-style greediness concerning stock options.

It's enough to make you weep.

As for Cisco it is probably extremely glad that it didn't get involved in the financial can of worms that Brocade seems set to become.

According to someone who ought to know, at a party over the Christmas season, the boss of Brocade UK was seen displaying his company loyalty by having its logo tattoed on his arm. However, loyalty only goes so far - it was merely a henna tattoo and has probably washed off by now...