Cisco Security Chief Departs, SVP-Level Replacement Named


Cisco on Tuesday confirmed the departure of its top security executive, and said it had named a senior vice president-level position directing all of Cisco's security engineering functions.

Tom Gillis, vice president of Cisco's security technologies business unit, has left the company. It was Gillis' decision to go and he will be working for a start-up, according to a Cisco spokesperson.

Chris Young will join Cisco as of Nov. 14 in the role of senior vice president, security technologies business unit. Young's appointment marks the first time that Cisco has had an SVP-level chief for its security business, whose engineering teams were recently consolidated, according to Padmasree Warrior, Cisco senior vice president and chief technology officer.

"Chris will assume responsibility for a new integrated security engineering team and for Cisco's overall security vision," said Warrior in a corporate blog post announcing Young. "His new team combines our security technologies group and our global government security solutions into a single entity."

Young comes to Cisco following a little more than a year at VMware, where he was senior vice president and general manager. Before VMware, Young was senior vice president of products at RSA, where he oversaw strategy, product management, product marketing, engineering and product delivery across RSA's Identity and Access Assurance, Security Information and Event Management, Government Risk and Compliance and Data Security units. At Cisco, he reports directly to Warrior, who along with Senior Vice President Pankaj Patel co-leads Cisco's entire engineering organization.

Gillis' and Young's moves come amid a time of ongoing corporate restructuring for Cisco, and also one of frequent executive changes. More than 25 of Cisco's best known corporate, technology and channel-facing executives have left the company in the past year.

Earlier this week, another of Warrior's reports, Manny Rivelo, senior vice president, engineering operations and systems, was confirmed as the new senior vice president, security and strategic solutions at F5 Networks.