Two Top Cisco Presidents Leave, Padmasree Warrior May Follow

George Kurian named CEO of NetApp

It is not just Cisco CEO John Chambers who will step down on July 25, paving the way for his successor, Mr Chuck Robbins, to assume charge from the next day.

Robert-Lloyd-CiscoTwo other senior Presidents, Mr Rob Lloyd and Mr Gary Moore, will also be leaving in major leadership changes initiated by Mr Robbins. This does not come as a surprise as both of them were CEO candidates.

Mr Robbins, CEO-designate, currently reports to Mr Lloyd. If he had stayed on it will have been an awkward inverse arrangement, reporting to a person he was managing. That, though, is not uncommon at Cisco.

As a more detailed reorganisation is expected to be announced in two weeks, more leaders may exit, with reports indicating that the CTO, Ms Padmasree Warrior, will depart as well.

Amid this anticipated development, NetApp yesterday named Mr George Kurien as its new CEO, replacing Tom Georgens.

The NetApp stock has fallen more than 20% this year and the share price dropped even further to $33 in after-hours trading after the news was out.

Padmasree-WarriorTech Sector is Always Full of Surprises: I quit Cisco in July 2010 to join BT and there was talk then that Mr Rob Lloyd could succeed Mr Chambers in a few years from then. A few others were thought to be in the race as well but Mr Robbins was nowhere in the picture for the top slot.

While Ms Warrior is among the prominent women engineering leaders in Silicon Valley she did not enjoy much support within the Cisco decision-makers.

WarriorShe was a few years ago considered a potential successor to Mr Chambers who had himself named Ms Warrior and another Indian, Mr Pankaj Patel, as being in contention for the role of CEO. However, there were rumours earlier this year that Mrs Warrior had been fired.

Expect the technology sector to unleash surprises, from leadership to solutions, catching the markets periodically off-guard!

G Joslin Vethakumar

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