||Software defined networking (SDN) can be beneficial in mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs) to increase flexibility, provide programmability and simplify management. The high dynamics in mobile networks, however, raise new reliability challenges to the conventional centralized control plane of SDN. To increase reliability, methods such as placing multiple controllers in the network have been considered that add redundancy in the control plane in a brute force manner. However, these methods cannot by themselves fundamentally solve the reliability problem. To address this issue, this paper complements the controller placement methods with a new architecture that has a hybrid structure splitting the routing decision logic between the controllers and the data plane nodes. Specifically, the controllers can break the routing path into segments, similar to the segment routing technique, and broadcast the list of segment labels to the data plane nodes. The latter are able to make the actual forwarding decisions for each segment in a distributed manner, e.g., by running an existing MANET protocol like OLSR. Experiments on a testbed built from commercial mobile devices with integrated SDN functionality highlight the feasibility and benefits of the proposed architecture.