Cisco Taps Former Sun Exec As Cloud CTO

Cisco spokesperson Neil Wu Becker confirmed that Tucker has joined the Cisco team, but said additional details of Tucker's role within the San Jose, Calif.-based networking giant were not available Wednesday.

"Cisco has hired Lew Tucker as its chief technology officer for cloud computing. Cisco is excited to have Lew join the team and is looking forward to his effort in driving Cisco’s cloud strategy and helping customers capitalize on the cloud’s benefits," Becker said in a statement e-mailed to CRN.

Cisco CTO Padmasree Warrior also confirmed Tucker's appointment on her Twitter feed.

"Welcome [Lew Tucker] to [Cisco] as the CTO of Cloud Computing. Look forward to working with you as part of my extended team," Cisco CTO Warrior wrote Wednesday afternoon.

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"Thrilled to be part of the team," Tucker replied, also via Twitter.

According to Tucker's LinkedIn page, he served as CTO and vice president of cloud computing at Sun Microsystems from September 2008 to February of 2010. Tucker was charged with building out Sun's hosted cloud offerings. Tucker left Sun in February shortly after the company's acquisition by Oracle.

Prior to Sun, Tucker held executive posts at other big names in cloud computing, including as a vice president at where he led the design and implementation of AppExchange, Salesforce's marketplace for on-demand business applications. Tucker holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Polytechnic Institute of Technology and a B.A. in Biology from Cornell University.

Tucker's appointment as Cisco's cloud computing CTO comes as the company looks to find footing in the quickly expanding cloud computing market, which Gartner said could reach nearly $150 billion by 2014.

At Cisco's Partner Summit in San Francisco last month, Warrior said Cisco's approach to the cloud is "pragmatic." She also noted that cloud computing represents a disruptive technology and presents strong opportunities in the service provider space within the enterprise with private cloud offerings.

Over the past several years Cisco has branched beyond standard networking technologies like routing and switching and has focused heavily on capturing new markets, including solution sets centered on the data center, virtualization and cloud computing.

So far most of Cisco's presence in the cloud has been through high-profile partnerships including its vBlock coalition which comprises Cisco, EMC and VMware; and Cisco's and EMC's Acadia cloud computing pairing which also includes investments from Intel and VMware.

Tucker's hiring also follows Cisco and EMC bringing aboard Compaq CEO and HP vice president Michael Capellas to head up the joint Cisco-EMC Acadia cloud venture. Capellas is now Acadia's CEO.