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Cisco Down Two Execs As One Reportedly Jumps To John Chambers-Backed Pensando

Cisco's current senior vice president of customer transformation and former CIO Guillermo Diaz Jr. is leaving the company in February and Frank Palumbo, senior vice president of global data center sales, is also leaving, reportedly for Pensando Systems.

Cisco Systems is losing two high-ranking executives as its former CIO as well as data center sales leader prepare to leave the company.

Guillermo Diaz Jr., Cisco's current senior vice president of customer transformation since February and former chief information officer since 2015, is leaving the company in February 2020, according to an internal email viewed first by The Information. Frank Palumbo, senior vice president of global data center sales, is also leaving.

A spokesperson for Cisco confirmed the planned departures to CRN on Friday. CRN has reached out to Palumbo for comment. Diaz referred comment back to Cisco.

[Related: AWS, Cisco ‘Easing Pain Into The Cloud' With AWS Outposts Support, SD-WAN Tie-Ins]

Palumbo, Cisco's senior vice president of global data center sales, is reportedly joining Pensando Systems, an edge computing startup founded by ex-Cisco engineers and backed by former Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers, The Information reported on Friday. Palumbo worked at Cisco for 27 years.

Chambers ripped the sheet off Pensando Systems, his stealth software firm in October that develops hardware and software that lets companies run their servers more efficiently, particularly in the cloud. The company, which includes several high-profile ex-Cisco engineers such as Mario Mazzola, Prem Jain, Luca Cafiero and Soni Jiandani, is taking aim at AWS with its offerings.

Diaz, who has spent nearly two decades at Cisco, has been leading the firm's Customer Transformation business since he cleared out of the CIO seat in February. Cisco brought in Jacqueline Guichelaar, formerly chief information officer at Thomson Reuters, as its CIO in February.

The departures come on the heels of Cisco revealing plans to restructure several business units, including its cloud business and enterprise and data center networking segments to better position itself against competitors, the comp any said in an internal email in November.

Specifically, Cisco's enterprise networking and data center networking units are being combined. Cisco is also renaming its existing cloud computing business to Cloud Strategy and Compute and expanding the segment to include server products.

The San Jose, Calif.-based networking giant also reassigned several of its department leaders as a result of the restructure. Dave Ward, Cisco's chief technology officer of engineering and chief architect, is stepping down to take a new role inside the company. Roland Acra, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Data Center business unit, will be his replacement. The soon-to-be combined enterprise and data center networking unit will be led by Cisco's Senior Vice President and General Manager of enterprise networking, Scott Harrell. Liz Centoni, a 19-year Cisco veteran and current senior vice president and general manager of IoT for the tech giant, will now lead Cisco's new Cloud Strategy and Compute business unit. Cloud computing's former leader, Kip Compton, is moving to Cisco’s Networking and Security Business group, Cisco said.

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