Cisco’s chief strategy officer steps down

Ned Hooper leaves the networking colossus to form his own investment company as Padmasree Warrior takes the helm

Cisco today confirmed its chief strategy officer, Ned Hooper, is stepping down from his role to set up his own investment company.

He will be replaced by Cisco CTO Padmasree Warrior, who will continue in her current role as well as taking on the strategy responsibilities.

The announcement was made by Cisco CEO John Chambers on the company’s blog, which praised Hooper for his 13 years of “exceptional service” at the networking firm.

“Ned pioneered the model for large-scale M&A at Cisco and drove significant transactions for the company such as Tandberg, WebEx, Airespace, Starent and NDS,” wrote Chambers. “Additionally, he has managed our $2bn investment portfolio with both strategic and financial returns to the company.

“We would like to thank Ned for his contributions, leadership, friendship and his continual drive to always do the right thing for Cisco.”

The CEO supported Hooper’s new venture, revealing the pair had been working together on the plan for the new business for months and a partnership between Cisco and the investment firm was on the cards.

“Ned has a unique passion and skill for investment and strategy, and will focus on this in the next phase of his career,” added Chambers. 

The CEO also announced the promotion of Pankaj Patel, who will take over as head of the engineering organisation within Cisco this summer. He has worked in the service provider group at the company for 13 years and had been the co-leader of engineering alongside Warrior for the past year, but now he is being handed the reins to run the department himself.  

“Pankaj will drive innovation, operational excellence and agile development across our products, solutions and architectures, and continue to increase our relevance with our expanding customer base,” wrote Chambers. 

“Pankaj’s deep customer relationships and extensive engineering expertise, combined with his ability to mentor and grow top engineering talent, will serve Cisco well as we drive the next phase of engineering leadership for the company.”  

Hooper’s departure and both Warrior’s and Patel’s promotions mark yet another shift in the senior level executives at Cisco.

Two weeks ago, Keith Goodwin – veteran Cisco employee and senior vice-president of the worldwide partner organisation – announced he was retiring. His role has been filled by Bruce Klein, previous senior vice-president of the US public sector division, whose role in turn has been taken up by Patrick Finn, who is already in charge of federal contracts for Cisco.  

Photo courtesy of camknows on Flickr

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