Cisco Unified Computing System Visionary Departs

The driving force behind Cisco Systems' successful Unified Computing System, Paul Perez, left the company earlier this month, the company confirmed Wednesday.

Network World first reported the news.

The departure comes several months after Ryan Snell, a top sales executive for Cisco's Invicta solid state storage unit, left the company following performance issues related to the scale-out version of its UCS Invicta flash storage product.

[Related: Cisco Halts Shipments of UCS Invicta Storage Appliance Due to Scalability Issues]

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Cisco stopped shipments of its UCS Invicta flash storage appliance in September after customer quality concerns and scalability issues. A Cisco spokesman said Wednesday that Invicta shipments have since resumed.

"Snell's gone, now Paul Perez?" said a solution provider executive and Cisco partner who declined to be identified. "UCS is a hot area of growth. Cisco went from zero to being a top five brand in a relatively short amount of time, so I don't know what would precipitate the guy at the top of that leaving."

Perez, vice president and general manager of computing systems at Cisco, will be temporarily replaced by Satinder Sethi, vice president of UCS product management and solutions, according to a Cisco spokesman.

"We expect to attract top talent for the role," said Cisco in a statement. "Cisco UCS is one of the company's all-time strongest success stories."

Perez joined Cisco in November 2011 following a 27-year stint at Hewlett-Packard.

"You certainly couldn't argue UCS has been anything else but a success since they launched it," said the solution provider executive. "We used to sell Dell and UCS, and now all we pretty much sell [is] UCS. … I hope [Cisco] keeps evolving [UCS] to meet the changing market even with Perez gone."

Cisco touted its UCS accomplishments over the past six years, noting that UCS has reached a $3 billion-plus run rate with more than 41,000 customers.

"Eighty-five percent of the Fortune 500 has chosen UCS because of its innovative architecture, and last quarter saw 40 percent growth [year-over-year], demonstrating how Cisco’s differentiated approach continues to resonate with customers," said Cisco in the statement.