Cisco Ex-President Rob Lloyd Takes CEO Job At Hyperloop Technologies

Once widely considered as a front-runner for the CEO position at Cisco, former Cisco President Rob Lloyd is the new CEO of Hyperloop Technologies -- less than two months after Chuck Robbins took over at the networking giant.

"After spending 10 years as an entrepreneur, followed by 20 years growing up in a small company called Cisco that became big and changed the world, I am fired up by the opportunity to change the world again," said Lloyd in a blog post Wednesday, which revealed that he is the new chief executive and a board member of Los Angeles-based transportation startup Hyperloop. "There are so many parallels to the lessons I learned from my time at Cisco that are applicable to what we will be accomplishing together at Hyperloop. … Hyperloop just feels like the perfect fit for me personally."

Hyperloop did not respond to a request for comment by publication time.

[Related: Cisco Loses Another Longtime Channel Leader: Surinder Brar]

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After revealing that he was leaving Cisco in June, Lloyd was banned from working for a total of 29 competing companies -- including Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and VMware -- for one year.

Partners say Lloyd left Cisco seeking a new challenge after being passed over for the CEO job.

"When Rob and people like [Padmasree] Warrior, Gary Moore, didn't get [the CEO post] and Chuck did, they became discontented," said a top executive solution provider and Cisco Gold partner, who declined to be identified. "It seemed to be like Rob wanted the CEO job, and for these guys, it's not about money, it's more about ego in the kindest sense of the word, and he wanted to run an organization. Hyperloop is a big, big bet, but it involves a bunch of technology, engineering and manufacturing, and Rob certainly has experience in all of that stuff."

According to Ethan Simmons, vice president, East, for Dallas-based Cisco partner Lumenate, "[Lloyd] wasn't ready to stop working, so obviously he was still interested in doing something and being part of something big. Whether Cisco wasn't going to be the right fit with Chuck leading, you can't blame him for leaving."

Lloyd, a 21-year Cisco veteran, oversaw sales and engineering as well as Cisco's Internet-of-Everything business in his last post there. Many solution providers saw Lloyd as the front-runner to take over the CEO job when John Chambers stepped down.

Simmons said Robbins is bringing in new, hand-picked leaders who he feels fit his strategy to lead the San Jose, Calif.-based networking giant into the digital age.

"This is Chuck's opportunity to bring in a new team and do things the way he wants to do things," said Simmons.

Hyperloop is in the process of raising $80 million in a Series B funding round, after capturing $11 million in its first round. Other recently joined members of Hyperloop's board include Emily White, former chief operating officer of Snapchat and a Google executive; David Sacks, former PayPal chief operating officer; and Jim Messina, ex-deputy chief of staff to President Barack Obama.

The startup is aiming to revolutionize the transportation industry around the globe, according to Lloyd, with the company on target to create its first test track by the end of 2016 or early 2017.

"There are many different use cases for Hyperloop, and we are already in talks with a variety of customers and partners on every continent about how we can work together," said Lloyd.