Arista Networks CEO talks tariffs and tech

Arista Networks, a $20 billion cloud networking company, earlier this week announced a next-generation hybrid cloud that integrates its own technology with that of Microsoft’s Azure. The collaboration will allow for secure connectivity and offer a smooth experience for organizations that rely on cloud computing.

“The cloud is very complex” Arista CEO Jayshree Ullal told FOX Business’s Gerri Willis. “The client to cloud journey can’t be done by one company alone.”

Ullal and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella visited the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday to promote the partnership via an online streaming event. Arista is also celebrating its 5-year anniversary as a public company on the New York Stock Exchange, which Ullal herself pioneered.

“I said back then that an IPO is not an event it’s a journey so we’re back here for the next phase of our journey,” Ullal said.

Since its IPO, Arista profits have surged 500 percent. The growth assisted by a global network of engineers, an asset that’s helped keep the company’s head above water amid an economy embroiled in a trade spat with China.

“We're one of the few companies that also has a very fine facility in the United States. We're relying on global talent in Asia, in Mexico and the United States."

Tech stocks as a whole have been particularly exposed in the US-China trade war, experiencing major volatility on both sides levying tariffs against each other. Arista is trying to avoid the repercussions of relying too heavily on China.

“Arista’s dependency on China alone is gradually decreasing. We’re focusing on a much more holistic strategy.”

And it’s not just China giving the tech sector a headache. The Justice Department and the FTC now cracking down on big tech giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook over monopolistic activity and privacy issues. Indeed, the government probe of Microsoft in 2001 hampered the company’s share price for nearly a decade. With both Facebook and Microsoft as customers, Ullal remains cautiously optimistic about potential effects on her company.

“At the end of the day, you control what you control and you execute what you can. I think Arista and Microsoft are examples of our united focus of driving change which is the most important thing. The rest will take care of itself.”

But optimism doesn’t translate to approval.


"I think the tech economy is one thing the government deeply appreciates and should continue to appreciate. It shouldn't be interfering it should be collaborating."

With the 2020 Presidential election around the corner and several Democrats like Elizabeth Warren, promising to crack down on the influence of big tech, the sector will likely remain under the microscope for some time to come.