Cisco Shuffles Exec Ranks

Over the course of the last two years, Cisco CEO John Chambers has been on a mission to streamline his company. It’s a mission that involves minimizing organizational layers in an effort to accelerate innovation.

Today, Chambers made his latest move, this time an executive shuffling.

Out after 13 years, is Chief Strategy Officer Ned Hooper. Hooper is that architect behind Cisco’s largest acquisitions of the last decade. Those acquisitions include WebEx which was acquired in 2007 for over $3 billion, Tandberg which was acquired for $3.3 billion in 2010, Starrent acquired for $2.9 billion in 2009 and most recently NDS for $5 billion .

Hooper is now set to run his own investment firm, in an effort that Chambers supports.

“Ned has been working on his plan with us over a number of months, and we look forward to partnering with him in his new endeavor,” Chambers wrote in a blog post. ” Ned has a unique passion and skill for investment and strategy, and will focus on this in the next phase of his career.

Hooper’s team will now report to CTO Padmasree Warrior who is also being adjusted in the executive ranks. Warrior will now also add the title of Chief Strategy Officer to her business cards.

On the engineering from Pankaj Patel is now being tasked with the responsibility for leading Cisco’s overall engineering efforts.

“Throughout his tenure Pankaj has delivered a significant number of products to the Cisco portfolio, addressing a wide range of customer needs,” Chambers said. ” Over the past year as the co-leader of engineering, Pankaj has increased his involvement in Cisco’s enterprise business, as the intersection points between service provider and enterprise come closer together.”

The executive realignment at Cisco is being seen in a positive light by at least one analyst. In a research note, Brian Marshall, IT Hardware & Data Networking Analyst at ISI Group, commented that the the changes are not likely due to new competitive challenges.

“In our view, CSCO is continuing to streamline the organization and consolidating responsibility for engineering, technology vision and strategy with two executives rather than three previously,” Marshall commented.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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