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Cisco EVP Development Patel Says Sayonara

Mitch Wagner

Another Cisco top executive from John Chambers's administration is leaving. Pankaj Patel, executive vice president and chief development officer, will pack up his stuff in a cardboard box and head out the door in the second half of 2016.

Patel served 19 years at Cisco and led a team of 26,000 developers and engineers, Cisco said in a statement emailed to Light Reading. Cisco declined to comment on a replacement, or whether his organization will be reorganized for the transition.

So Long, Farewell
Auf Wiedersehen, good night.
Auf Wiedersehen, good night.

"This was definitely Pankaj's decision, and one I understand he shared with the executive leadership team on Wednesday," a company spokesman said in the email. "Given he'll be stepping down in the second half of calendar 2016, we have no additional changes or appointments to announce."

Patel's departure is the latest in a series of top leadership changes since CEO Chuck Robbins was named to succeed longtime CEO John Chambers in early May. Most notably, two company presidents, Rob Lloyd and Gary Moore, stepped down. (See Cisco Brings in New Blood for Tech Leadership, Robbins Succeeds Chambers as Cisco Changes CEOs and 2 Cisco Presidents Quit.)

Patel oversaw reorganizing the company's then-25,000-person engineering team in two groups in 2014, at the tail end of a string of quarters in which Cisco's revenue shrank. The reorganization's goals were to "bust the silos" between business units, Patel told Light Reading at the time -- creating reusable technology and focusing more closely on customer needs. (See Troubled Cisco Looks to 'Bust Silos' .)


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Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner
2/3/2016 | 1:51:09 PM
Re: Change
Chambers had done a good job positioning Cisco for the future, particularly with regard to the Internet of Things. So far Robbins hasn't changed that strategy. 
2/2/2016 | 1:42:15 PM
This change, especially at a huge company like Cisco. I've always been impressed by Cisco's ability to lead and grow in the technology industry all without the pizzazz of a Facebook, Apple or Google.

It's just the market they are in. In addition, with the retirement of Chambers I think we're seeing a new generation at Cisco. It's probably all for the best. 
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