Warrior Lands New Electric Car Gig, Earns Congratulations From Cisco

Cisco Systems' popular former CTO, Padmasree Warrior, Wednesday was named the new chief development officer at electric car startup NextEV. She was also named CEO of NextEV U.S., and head of software development for the Shanghai, China-based company.

Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins congratulated Warrior on the move via Twitter:

Congratulations ! We are proud of you and wish you luck!

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Warrior was among a number of top executives who left the San Jose, Calif.-based networking giant this year following the appointment of Robbins as CEO succeeding John Chambers. Robbins in early June unveiled a new leadership team while at the same time announcing Warrior’s departure, along with those of several other top executives.

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Warrior stayed on at Cisco in a strategic adviser role until September. She is currently a board member for Box, Gap and Microsoft, according to a release.

"You just knew she was going to land at some big company overseas in a CEO, CTO, president type of role," said a solution provider and Cisco Gold partner, who declined to be identified. "She was a great sort of ambassador abroad for Cisco for events, especially in India … and for women really anywhere she went. She's got like almost 2 million followers on Twitter and that's pretty rare for an IT person."

Warrior could not be reached for comment.

Although the solution provider said he has faith in new CTO Zorawar Biri Singh's ability to drive innovation, Cisco could have used the popularity of Warrior abroad now more than ever to make better inroads abroad. Cisco this year revealed that it would invest $10 billion in China over the next several years as well as a joint venture agreement with China-based server maker Inspur.

NextEV was founded in 2014 and plans to build smart electric vehicles with the goal for all new cars to be zero-emission by 2050. The company doesn't have any electric vehicles on the market right now, but is building and developing smart, high-performance, electric vehicles, according to a release.

"I've always looked for opportunities to leverage technology to tackle big problems," said Warrior, in a statement. "As the electric vehicle industry emerges, there is a tremendous opportunity to provide a user-centric transportation experience. By integrating advanced technologies in the mobile Internet era, NextEV will make electric vehicles an enjoyable experience in people's daily life."

Warrior isn't the first former top Cisco executive who departed this year to become CEO of a startup company. Rob Lloyd, former president, development and sales, took a CEO job at transportation company Hyperloop Technologies in September.