Cisco Consumer Group Chief Exits


Cisco has parted ways with its top consumer product executive and will bring its Consumer Business Group under new leadership.

Jonathan Kaplan, Cisco's senior vice president and general manager of consumer products, will leave Cisco to "pursue other career opportunities," according to Cisco, which confirmed the move in a corporate blog post written by Karen Tillman, global head of Cisco Public Relations.

The move follows a particularly disappointing revenue performance by Cisco's consumer products, which in Cisco's second fiscal quarter were down 15 percent year-over-year.

Kaplan joined Cisco in March 2009 following its acquisition of Pure Digital, maker of the Flip video camera. Kaplan had been Pure Digital's chairman and CEO at the time.

"The leadership team thanks Jonathan for his valuable contributions to the business over the last two years," wrote Cisco's Tillman in the blog post.

Cisco's Consumer Business Group will now come under Marthin De Beer, senior vice president of Cisco's Emerging Technologies Business Group. De Beer also oversees Cisco's TelePresence Business Group, and will now be responsible for all three groups. He'll co-chair Cisco's Consumer Council with Ned Hooper, Cisco's senior vice president and Chief Strategy Officer.

"A 16-year Cisco veteran, Martin is a natural leader and uniquely skilled in driving growth into new areas of our business," Tillman wrote.

With the Consumer group, De Beer will be tasked with driving growth among everything from Flip cameras and Cisco's recently debuted Umi home telepresence line to the Linksys and Valet lines of home networking products.

Among Cisco channel partners, De Beer is considered one of Cisco's most ardent video evangelists, and Cisco's enterprise-focused video segments are in growth mode. Collaboration, which includes the products Cisco acquired with Tandberg, yielded 37 percent year-over-year revenue gains in the second quarter, and is nearing a $4 billion annualized run rate, according to Cisco.

"Every partner needs to understand video and know that there is a play and know to make a choice whether they want to invest aggressively or just scale what they do today," De Beer told CRN in an interview at last year's Cisco Partner Summit. "We have consistently under-guessed the growth of video. We have been wrong every year, it's always exceeded our expectations."