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Cisco bans departing execs from vast swathe of IT industry

A filing with the US government has revealed outgoing executives Rob Lloyd and Gary Moore will not be allowed to take up employment with, among others, HP, IBM or VMware

Departing Cisco executives Rob Lloyd and Gary Moore have been banned for a year from taking employment at a number of IT companies, at the risk of being stripped of their severance packages.

Although the conditions set out in the legally obligated 8K filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are entirely standard practice, the full list gives a clear and rare indication of who Cisco currently sees as a competitive threat to its business.

The list includes core networking suppliers, including Huawei, which Cisco’s outgoing CEO John Chambers has frequently made reference to, as well as a number of mobile and telecommunications firms and security businesses.

The suppliers on the list are Alcatel-Lucent, Amazon Web Services, Arista Networks, Arris Group, Aruba, Avaya, Brocade, Check Point, Citrix, Dell, LM Ericsson, Extreme Networks, F5 Networks, FireEye, Fortinet, Hewlett-Packard, Huawei, IBM, Juniper Networks, Lenovo, Microsoft, Motorola Solutions, Nokia, Palo Alto Networks, Polycom, Riverbed, Ruckus Wireless, Symantec and VMware.

Should Moore or Lloyd take employment with any of the listed suppliers before 25 July 2016, their compensation packages and benefits will be forfeit and must be repaid to Cisco in full.

The prohibition includes board of directorships, advisory board memberships and consulting services. However, it will not apply should they be working for a business that is acquired by one of the listed suppliers and they continue to serve in the same role at the acquired business, as long as they did not know it was going to be bought.

Cisco revealed Lloyd, who served as president of development and sales, will receive a compensation package totalling $2.2m, 18 months of his base salary and target bonus award. Moore will receive $2.27m, in addition to various stock awards.

The documents also said Cisco had taken the decision to “eliminate” Lloyd and Moore’s positions, suggesting CEO Chuck Robbins does indeed plan to radically shake up the company’s leadership structure.

Read more about Cisco's CEO transition

Following the revelation that Lloyd and Moore – both of whom had been seen as front-runners to replace John Chambers when he took the decision to step down – were leaving Cisco, it has also emerged chief technology and strategy officer Padmasree Warrior may be heading for the exit.

Originally a chemical engineer, Warrior joined Cisco in 2008 after more than 20 years at Motorola, where she spearheaded its energy systems and semiconductor products units. She has long been regarded as one of the most powerful women currently working in the technology industry.

Read more on Network routing and switching

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I understand trying to keep Intellectual Property from falling into the wrong hands, but this move strikes me as desperate. The Cisco I knew and remember from the 90s didn't have to operate in this way.
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