Linksys' Top Exec Leaves Post

According to a Cisco insider, Pocock quietly stepped down from the top spot to spend time with his family.

Cisco is actively seeking a replacement for Pocock, a signal that the executive ranks with Cisco's Linksys division have not been affected by Cisco's vow to cut $1 billion in expenses in fiscal 2009 to combat an expected slump in second-quarter revenue.

Pocock joined the Cisco-Linksys team in May 2006. Before Linksys, he served as CEO of Polaroid until July 2005. During his two-year stint at Polaroid, Pocock oversaw the dismantling of its research and development division and the discontinuation of its fledgling commercial printing efforts.

Pocock was most known in the channel as the executive who led Compaq's partner efforts -- and later its commercial PC division -- when the vendor was the No. 1 PC maker in the world. In 1999, Pocock went to bat for brick-and-mortar VARs by cutting off roughly 40 resellers that sold only online and lacked physical storefronts.

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At Linksys, Pocock oversaw all worldwide functions including operations, sales, marketing, human resources, training, consumer advocacy and all product development and engineering. He focused his efforts on growing the Linksys business in the consumer, small business and service provider markets while expanding the company globally.

Earlier this year, Linksys' channel organization was shaken when the division cut its worldwide channel chief position, a role held by Nigel Williams, and pushed channel responsibilities out to the heads of its geographic sales teams. The move, Linksys said at the time, aimed to improve cooperation and collaboration between Linksys and Cisco as Linksys worked to make a name for itself as a legitimate SMB player in the mind of channel partners, who perceived it as a consumer-only brand.

Then, in August, Cisco announced it was absorbing the Linksys Small-Business Channel Partner Program into its own partner program, while also integrating Linksys' small business field force with its own.

And this month at Cisco's Channel Exchange press and analyst event in Lisbon, Portugal, Cisco said it will no longer make new small business products under the Linksys by Cisco brand name, while small business products that currently carry the Linksys name will be brought under the Cisco banner as they are refreshed. Linksys will continue to be the brand name for consumer networking products.