Cisco Unified Communications VP Bolts For Akamai


Rick McConnell, one of Cisco's top unified communications and collaboration executives, has left Cisco to take an executive vice president position at Web optimization and content delivery specialist Akamai Technologies.

McConnell's move was one of several executive changes confirmed by Akamai this week, including that its president, David Kenny, is departing the company.

McConnell was named Akamai's executive vice president, products and development, effective Nov. 1. He'll be responsible for all of Akamai's product divisions, including its Site, Enterprise Cloud and Media divisions, and report to Paul Sagan, Akamai president and CEO. Sagan assumed the president duties following Kenny’s departure.

McConnell was an eight-year veteran of Cisco, joining the networking titan during its 2003 acquisition of Latitude Communications, where McConnell had been CEO. Latitude was known at the time as the maker of MeetingPlace audio and Web conferencing products and services.

His most recent role at Cisco had him managing about 600 employees focused on engineering and product management in the UC business within Cisco's Voice Technology Group, and he previously led strategy and operations for Cisco's $5 billion Communications and Collaboration business, as well as ran Cisco's global WebEx sales.

"Rick's strong background in complex Internet technologies and products will be a major asset to Akamai," Sagan said in a statement. "He has played a significant role in transforming product development and sales throughout his career, and in leading cross-functional product teams."

McConnell's exit is the latest in a string of high-profile executive departures from Cisco as the company undergoes a global corporate restructuring. His arrival at Akamai is also part of several changes the Web application acceleration vendor made in its executive suite this week.

Most notable is the departure of Kenny, a move that fueled speculation Kenny is on the short list for the top job at beleaguered search and media company Yahoo. Kenny, as numerous sources have noted, is a Yahoo board member and is said to be openly campaigning for the job.

Akamai, which reported stronger-than-expected earnings for its fiscal third quarter, also appointed a new chief information officer, Kumud Kalia, who most recently ran the information services organization for Direct Energy.