Four top innovators are leaving Cisco

The team, known as MPLS, led startups that Cisco acquired for key technologies

Four Cisco Systems executives who led “spin-in” ventures that became important parts of the company have resigned.

The longtime leaders decided to leave the company on June 17 because of “a disconnect regarding roles, responsibilities and charter” after a new Cisco business unit was announced, according to an internal memo posted Monday by CEO Chuck Robbins and seen by IDG News Service. The move was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Engineers Mario Mazzola, Prem Jain and Luca Cafiero, and marketer Soni Jiandani, nicknamed “MPLS” after their first initials, started several companies with Cisco’s backing that later were absorbed back into the networking giant. The companies included Andiamo Networks in storage, Nuova Systems in data-center switching and Insieme Networks in SDN (software-defined networking).

The four resigned after Cisco announced the formation of the Networking & Security Business Group, which will handle engineering for routing, switching and security products, the memo said. David Goeckeler, a 16-year Cisco veteran, leads the group. Starting June 17, the Insieme business unit will also become part of it.

Cisco brought the four on board when it bought LAN switching vendor Crescendo Communications in 1993, the company’s first major acquisition. More than once, Cisco invested in startups spearheaded by MPLS and then acquired those companies.

That was under former CEO John Chambers, who stepped down last year after 20 years leading the company. He is still Cisco’s chairman, and MPLS continued to report to Chambers after Robbins succeeded him, sources told Network World last August.

In a statement on Monday, Robbins praised the outgoing executives.

“I want to recognize Mario, Prem, Luca, and Soni for the countless contributions they have made to Cisco. I have personally learned so much from them, and they will always be an important part of Cisco’s engineering story,” he said. “Their legacy will live on through our ongoing innovation and the talented engineering leaders they have mentored.”

Robbins has made major changes in Cisco’s leadership as he puts his own mark on the 32-year-old company. Sanjiv Ahuja, leader of the service-provider business, resigned in March.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?