Cisco CTO Warrior Next On Chopping Block? Partners Think So

Rumors are swirling that Cisco Systems Chief Technology and Strategy Officer Padmasree Warrior is next in line to be leaving the networking giant as incoming CEO Chuck Robbins begins restructuring the company's leadership team.

The speculation stems from a report by Re/code on Monday that said Warrior's last day will be July 25.

Rob Lloyd, president of development and sales, and Gary Moore, president and COO, are leaving the company July 25 as Robbins begins to form a new "flatter" leadership structure at Cisco, according to a blog post on Monday by Robbins.

[Related: Partners: Robbins' 'Bold' Executive Moves Will Make Cisco More Agile]

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Cisco declined to comment on whether Warrior would be leaving as part of the restructuring, saying, "[Robbins] plans to announce his full leadership team within two weeks. We won’t be commenting on rumors on who might be part of that team or not in the interim."

Cisco partners say the speculation about Warrior leaving the San Jose, Calif.-based networking giant isn't too shocking, with one noting that the departure "will likely happen."

"I've been hearing the rumor [that Warrior is leaving] for a while now, but with Lloyd and Moore actually leaving, this time it could actually be true," said a top executive from a Cisco Gold partner in the Northeast.

The executive, who asked not to be identified, said he doesn't expect Warrior to be part of Robbins' new leadership team when he takes the helm as CEO on July 26.

Partners also pointed out that Warrior did not participate at Cisco Partner Summit 2015 last month, unlike in previous years.

"She seems like she's got the ego to drive her to other areas and other things -- I think she may go somewhere else," said another executive from a Cisco Gold partner on the East Coast. "If you think about what's going on there right now, Chuck is going to put his team in place and there's just going to be turnover. ... It's a big change going on there and it's just starting now."

Warrior joined Cisco in 2008 after serving as executive vice president and chief technology officer at Motorola. In 2012, her role was upgraded from CTO to chief technology and strategy officer during an executive shake-up, with new responsibilities including thought leadership around products and architectures, technical talent development and recruiting.

She is a member of the board of directors for Box, a cloud software and collaboration company, as well as the retailer Gap Inc., according to her LinkedIn profile.

Partners were pleased with the amount of investment from Cisco in technology research and development with Warrior as leader, but don't think her departure will hurt innovation as the networking giant is known for its acquisitions.

"[Cisco's] most recent success that's proven out is Meraki, and that was an acquisition. It wasn't internally driven," said the East Coast executive. "They have so much talent in there and so much capability, that it's not one person that makes a difference."