Several sources are reporting that Cisco has hired former Apple and IBM executive Mark Papermaster to join its core networking business team.
According to both The Wall Street Journal and, earlier in the day Friday, a tweet from Fox Business' Shibano Joshi, Papermaster started Monday, and reports to John McCool, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's data center, switching and services group.
Papermaster's career moves have brought him dubious celebrity in the IT world. After a 25-year career at IBM, Papermaster left in November 2008 to become senior vice president of devices hardware engineering at Apple. Shortly after his departure was announced, it came to light that IBM had filed a lawsuit to attempt to block the move. The lawsuit was settled in January 2009 and Papermaster joined Apple officially in April of that year.
In August 2010, Papermaster exited Apple under what was thought to be a cloud of scrutiny over Apple's iPhone 4 and so-called "Antennagate," in which the iPhone 4 was lambasted for problems with its antenna and a perceived design flaw. Apple didn't make public the reason for Papermaster's exit, but reports at the time cited a "series of hardware problems" as the reason for his departure.
According to the Journal, Papermaster will be contributing to Cisco's switching business, which accounts for nearly a third of Cisco's revenue overall. He will be in charge of creating chips for the switches.
Cisco did not immediately return a request for confirmation of Papermaster's hiring.
Cisco has been largely spared the executive comings and goings seen by many of its IT peers this year, although it did recently lose senior vice president Tony Bates, now CEO of Skype.