Cisco Restructures Corporate Engineering Teams


Cisco on Thursday confirmed a number of structural changes to its Engineering organization, including that it has further streamlined the number of technology-based engineering groups and also given more power to top executives in its video, security and data center businesses.

The moves come as part of an ongoing, company-wide restructuring at Cisco intended to remove $1 billion in operating expenses by the end of the company's fiscal 2012 and make Cisco a more streamlined organization that can make decisions faster.

Cisco's Engineering organization will now include five groups, and those five groups will be supported by five separate groups Cisco is calling its Strategic Technology Groups. The changes were confirmed by Cisco's Karen Tillman, vice president of corporate communications, in a Thursday post to Cisco's corporate blog.

Within Engineering, the new Enterprise Networking Group collapses Cisco's Enterprise Routing, Campus Switching, WaaS and Wireless LAN groups into one unit, along with networking pieces of Cisco's Small Business team. Rob Soderbery, Cisco senior vice president, will lead the group, and Praveen Akkiraju, senior vice president, will continue to lead Cisco's Enterprise Routing and Wireless endeavors.

Cisco's Data Center group will be led by Senior Vice President David Yen, whom Cisco poached from Juniper in May. That group now includes Data Center Switching, Servers and Storage, and Load Balancing.

Cisco recently named Chris Young, a former VMware and RSA executive, its senior vice president for security engineering, the first time Cisco's had an SVP-level executive for security. Young is now heading up Cisco's Security and Government Group, which includes Cisco's Security Technology Group, Global Government Solutions group and Corporate Security Programs business.

Elsewhere, Surya Panditi, Cisco senior vice president, is now in charge of Cisco's Service Provider Networking group, which combines its Service Provider Routing and Service Provider Mobility units. Kelly Ahuja, senior vice president, will continue to lead the Mobility piece.

Finally, Marthin DeBeer now controls the Video and Collaboration Group, which consolidates Cisco's Collaboration and Communications, Telepresence Technology, Service Provider Video Technology and Emerging Technologies groups. Barry O'Sullivan, senior vice president, retains control of the Collaboration and Communications team.

Adjacent to the Engineering teams, Cisco now has five Strategic Technology Groups. They are Cloud and System Management Technology, recently formed and led by Rebecca Jacoby, Cisco SVP and CIO; Engineering, Operations and Systems, led by vice president Joe Wotjal; Network Operating Software Technology Group led by senior vice president Ben Fathi; Silicon and Central Engineering led by vice presidents Bill Swift and Massimo Prati; and Research and Advanced Development, led by senior vice president Joel Bion.

Senior Vice Presidents Padmasree Warrior and Pankaj Patel are still the co-leads for Engineering, according to Tillman.

Reached by CRN Thursday afternoon, Tillman said Cisco isn't announcing any executive departures related to the Engineering changes. Cisco has seen a number of high-profile executive exits this year.