Cisco Swipes Two Service Provider VPs From Juniper

Neal Oristano joins Cisco as vice president, global service provider market segment sales, following seven years as senior vice president, Americas service provider sales at Juniper. Oristano will report into Nick Adamo, senior vice president, global service provider market segment, and play a key role in helping Adamo architect Cisco's worldwide service provider strategy.

Earlier in his career, Oristano was vice president, Americas sales at 3Com, and also had similar Americas and service provider sales roles at Unisphere Networks and Lucent Technologies. He previously worked at Cisco more than a decade ago.

Also joining Cisco is Jim Labovites, a vice president now working in Cisco's U.S. service provider sales leadership team under Cisco Vice President, U.S. Service Provider Sales, Michael Glickman. Labovites was vice president for Western Region service provider sales while at Juniper.

"We're thrilled to have added some of the service provider industry's top sales talent to continue to drive our success in this market," said Rob Lloyd, Cisco's executive vice president, worldwide operations, in a statement. "Today's appointments reaffirm how compelling and differentiated our service provider strategy and product innovation is, both to the customers with whom we partner every day, and to the best talent in the industry."

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In a statement Friday, Juniper downplayed the exits of Oristano and Labovites.

“Cisco’s actions reflect that Juniper continues to take share from the company. We have a deep bench of sales talent and our customer relationships are not affected by the departure of a few employees," said a Juniper spokesman in a statement e-mailed to CRN. "Some of the largest service providers around the world have chosen a technology path based on Juniper’s superior solutions, and we do not anticipate them to alter that based on a few sales personnel.”

Cisco's poach of two service provider executives from Juniper strikes at the heart of a key Juniper business segment at an unstable time for both companies. Juniper in late July reported disappointing fiscal second quarter results, and told analysts during a conference call that service provider guidance was not following usual historical patterns.

Cisco has seen a number of executive defections to Juniper this year, part of an ongoing executive exodus from Cisco's vice president- and senior vice president-level ranks. But Cisco has grabbed talent from Juniper, too; David Yen, who spent three years as a Juniper executive vice president, took over Cisco's Server Access and Virtualization Technology Group (SAVTG) in May.