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Cisco Shakeup Hits Cloud, Networking Teams

Cisco is making major changes in its networking and cloud computing business in an effort to “strongly position the company against our competitors,” according to an internal email sent to employees by Cisco’s David Goeckeler and viewed by The Information.

Goeckeler, EVP and GM of Cisco’s Networking and Security Business, reportedly outlined several leadership changes in his email and said Cisco will combine its enterprise and data center networking units. Cisco Enterprise Networking GM Scott Harrell will lead the new combined unit, according to The Information.

And Roland Acra, SVP and GM of Cisco’s Data Center business unit, will replace Dave Ward, chief technology officer of engineering and chief architect, who is stepping down to take a new role inside the company. Acra will assume both of these roles.

The company is also renaming its existing cloud computing software business — it’s now called Cloud Strategy and Compute — and expanding it to include server products. Liz Centoni, who leads Cisco’ IoT group, will move into the top spot at the Cloud Strategy and Compute business unit. Meanwhile Kip Compton, SVP of Cisco’s former cloud unit, will take on a new role in Cisco’s Networking and Security Business group, The Information reports.

Cisco confirmed the organizational changes in an email to SDxCentral. “We are focused on the tremendous opportunities in front of us across cloud, automation, 5G, security and collaboration,” a spokesperson said. “To continue the great progress already made, we are making some organizational updates to our Networking and Security business. These changes will better align our development process with our customers’ needs as they transition to a multi-domain approach.”

But Will It Work?

The changes follow layoffs and two disappointing quarters for Cisco that saw weaker than expected service provider and enterprise revenue. Meanwhile competitors like Juniper Networks are going after Cisco’s networking customers by infusing artificial intelligence (AI) across the entire IT environment.

“The restructuring of Cisco makes complete sense right now,” said Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst at ZK Research in an email to SDxCentral. “The world is changing and companies need to keep evolving to keep up with the times. The realignment of leadership should help Cisco make decisions quicker and move faster to keep up with market trends. Automation, in particular, is game changing for the network but requires better coordination across all of Cisco’s areas, and they are now better aligned.”―SDX Central

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