Cisco's David Goeckeler Named Western Digital CEO; Todd Nightingale To Lead Cisco Enterprise Networking

Cisco Meraki leader Todd Nightingale will lead Cisco's newly-restructured Enterprise Networking and Cloud business as David Goeckeler takes a new position as CEO of Western Digital.


David Goeckeler, executive vice president and general manager of Cisco's networking and security business, is leaving the company to become CEO of Western Digital.

The networking giant has already named his successor. Todd Nightingale, Cisco's current senior vice president and general manager of Cisco Meraki, will become senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's $34 billion Enterprise Networking and Cloud Business, a spokesperson confirmed to CRN on Thursday.

“We are proud to support [Goeckeler] as he takes on his new role as CEO. We thank him for his leadership and for delivering incredible innovation at Cisco," a Cisco spokesperson said.

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Goeckeler, a longtime Cisco veteran and one of the firm's highest-paid executives, was promoted to his role leading Cisco's networking and security units in 2017. Goeckeler will join San Jose, Calif.-based Western Digital as CEO on March 9, according to the data storage firm.

Nightingale, an enthusiastic leader for the Cisco Meraki division, has been with San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco for more than seven years.

"The Meraki business is on fire for Cisco right now and it's really modernized networking, so I can see Cisco wanting to simplify the SD-WAN and DNA story under [Nightingale's] leadership," said a Cisco partner who asked not to be named. "I think it's all good things."

The leadership change comes as Cisco restructures its business units to better compete against the competition. In a letter to employees in November, Goeckeler revealed that Cisco's Cisco's enterprise networking and data center networking businesses would be combined. The San Jose, Calif.-based vendor also announced a series of organizational updates to its networking and security businesses.

Cisco's enterprise and data center networking unit is being led by Scott Harrell, while Cisco's Cloud Strategy and Compute business has Liz Centoni at the helm.

"We are always looking to build the strongest portfolio and platforms for the future. Our customers want simplicity, security, and real-time collaboration as they accelerate their cloud, 5G and AI strategies. Our new product leaders are experts in these areas, and we are thrilled to have them bring new perspectives to Cisco's executive team. Cisco's new engineering team structure aligns with our transformation strategy to drive growth and innovation," according to a Cisco spokesperson.