Hits Keep Coming: 10 More Notable Cisco Executive Departures

This summer, CRN looked at 15 major executive departures from Cisco going back to the fall of 2010, from Tony Bates and Luanne Tierney to Enrique Rodriguez and Karl Meulema. As Cisco confirmed details of its restructuring and looked to slim its ranks and streamline operations heading into its fiscal 2012, more departures seemed likely, and, some opting for retirement, some heading to new gigs with rivals, and some whose next moves haven't yet been confirmed.

Here's a look at 10 more Cisco executives that have moved on from the networking titan this year, including one or two we missed in the last round-up.

In an undeniable "big get" for F5 Networks, Manny Rivelo, one of Cisco's best-known senior vice presidents, took over as head of F5's security and strategy teams in late October. Rumors about Rivelo's departure popped up earlier in the month, and by Halloween, F5 Networks had confirmed the 19-year Cisco veteran would come aboard as senior vice president, security and strategic solutions. At Cisco, Rivelo's most recent role had been senior vice president, engineering operations and systems. He joins F5 at a time of full-tilt growth, with the application delivery specialist having recently passed $1 billion in annual revenue.

Rick McConnell was an eight-year veteran of Cisco, having jointed Cisco during the 2003 acquisition of Latitude Communications, where he had been CEO. But McConnell moved on mid-October, named executive vice president of products and development at Akamai, and responsible for all of Akamai's product divisions. McConnell's most recent role at Cisco had him managing about 600 employees focused on engineering and product management for the unified communications business in Cisco's Voice Technology Group. He had previously led strategy and operations for Cisco's Communciations and Collaboration businesses, and also ran Cisco's WebEx sales.

Cisco's lost some significant sales theater chiefs in the past year, including Stephanie Carullo, most recently Cisco's worldwide vice president of sales for data center and virtualization. According to her LinkedIn profile, Carullo left Cisco for Apple, where she is now a vice president of sales.

There have also been significant changes in Cisco's marketing organization, and another move was that of Bill Brownell, most recently senior vice president, enterprise and mid-market marketing. According to sources, Brownell -- who was also a member of Cisco's Enterprise Council -- is retiring.

Big shift in Cisco's security business: Cisco confirmed Tom Gillis, vice president of Cisco's security technologies business unit, had left Cisco this fall to work for an as-yet-unnamed startup. Gillis' replacement is Chris Young, whose appointment is especially notable in that, for the first time, Cisco has a senior vice president-level position heading its security engineering functions. Young's full title is senior vice president, security technologies business unit, following well-regarded stints in similar roles at VMware and RSA.

Hedlund, most recently technical solutions architect for Cisco's data center solutions with a focus on Cisco's Unified Computing System (UCS), moved on to a sales engineer role with Dell Force10. Hedlund confirmed the move in early October on his blog, saying it was "the result of an exhausting and drawn out thought process lasting several months."

"The data center networking industry is changing fast and this was purely a forward-looking move to best position myself and family for these changes," Hedlund wrote. Hedlund had been at Cisco since 2006, winning several engineering and sales awards with the companuy, and had been a CCIE for more than 10 years.

Charles Carmel spent 10 years at Cisco and helped drive the bus on some of its most important acquisitions, including Scientific Atlanta in 2005, WebEx in 2007 and Tandberg in 2009. But ultimately Carmel, a former Goldman Sachs investment banker, decided a switch to private equity would suit him best, and in August, joined Warburg Pincus as a managing director. Following Carmel's departure, Cisco made Hilton Romanski the new head of its corporate business development team.

Nicira is a much-buzzed-about network virtualization startup that in the span of two years has lured some well-known executive talents from Cisco, Juniper, VMware, Google and Palo Alto Networks to its ranks. One of its most recent hires was Alan Cohen, Cisco's former vice president for enterprise and public sector, and now Nicira's vice president of marketing.

OK, so it happened about a year ago, but at the time -- and as evidenced by Cohen's recent move -- the path to Nicira from way bigger, much better known networking vendors was already being lit. D'Agostino, the former Distinguished Systems Engineer at Cisco, exited the networking titan in the fall of 2010 to become Nicira's vice president of worldwide technical operations. And worth noting that Cohen and D'Agostino joined yet another Cisco alumnus on Nicira's executive team: Paul Fazzone, former director of product management at Cisco, and, since April 2010, vice president of product management at Nicira.

Galloway doesn't quite fit the pattern here because he is expected to return to Cisco following a year-long leave of absence. But when the senior vice president of Cisco's Network Services Group and one of the top architects of Cisco's Borderless Networks strategy exits the company for any prolonged length of time, it's still significant. Galloway's responsibilities at Cisco include its edge and access routing products, its wireless LAN and WAN products, its security products and systems, its policy management, network access control and government security products, and its application delivery products. All of those businesses report into Cisco's co-leads for Engineering, Padmasree Warrior and Pankaj Patel, in Galloway's absence.