11:25 AM -- Cisco Systems Inc. started handing out layoffs this week -- they're probably done by now, in fact -- and I can't help thinking that the list will include at least one more executive we've heard of.
With cuts pledged to sweep the company and cover 15 percent of the top ranks, it seems likely that one or more big names tied to telecom or the cloud will be leaving. (See Cisco Simplifies; Cuts 6,500 Jobs and Did Cisco Cut Deep Enough?)
One has already bowed out, and that's Enrique Rodriguez, who had been running Videoscape. It was a high-profile assignment that was the centerpiece of Cisco's CES presence in January, and now it's in the hands of Marthin de Beer, who runs Cisco's Emerging Business group. (See Cisco's Videoscape Leader Resigns.)
But I have a feeling someone else might go. I wouldn't be surprised if it was Ned Hooper, the chief strategy officer.
It's hard not to notice that the two things Hooper has recently been in charge of -- consumer products and strategy -- are two of the most highly criticized aspects of Cisco in the months leading up to the restructuring. Some analysts put it less kindly, especially the consumer part.
As far as we know, Hooper still has a role on the consumer side, but it seems to be a diminished one. With the exit of Jonathan Kaplan -- former CEO of Pure Digital (the Flip company) and Cisco's former senior vice president of consumer products -- Hooper has been sharing chairmanship of Cisco's consumer council with de Beer.
For a while, it looked as if Hooper was being groomed for big things at Cisco, and that might still be true. But it's de Beer who's taken the spotlight more often recently. At the very least, the guy who we once thought was being groomed as a possible CEO successor might be getting pushed to the margins. (See Hooper's Ascent Continues at Cisco.)
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading