Channel Veteran Joins Cisco

Cisco Systems has tapped J. Michael Pocock, a former channel chief from the glory days of Compaq, to head its Linksys consumer networking unit.

The news comes as the co-leaders of Linksys, Victor and Janie Tsao, step down from the business they founded to spearhead Cisco's efforts in China, according to company executives.

Pocock arrives at Linksys after serving as CEO of the foundering Polaroid until July 2005. During his two-year tenure at the once-powerful film and photo company, Pocock oversaw the dismantling of Polaroid's R&D division and the discontinuation of its fledgling commercial printing efforts. Polaroid has since turned its attention to lending its brand name to consumer electronics such as DVD and MP3 players.

But Pocock is best known in the channel as the man who led Compaq's partner efforts--and later its entire commercial PC division--when the vendor was the No. 1 PC maker in the world. In 1999, Pocock backed his bricks-and-mortar VARs by cutting off some 40 resellers that sold only over the Internet and had no storefronts.

Sponsored post

As senior vice president and general manager of Linksys, Pocock will report to Charles Giancarlo, Cisco's chief development officer and the president of Linksys.