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October 22, 2002
Wireless LAN networking player Symbol Technologies Inc. has managed to lure another top executive away from Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), just months after nabbing Cisco heir apparent Bill Nuti for its president and COO.
The Holtsville, N.Y., company is planning to announce the coup tomorrow. However, Unstrung has learned from a Cisco employee familiar with the matter that the defector is Todd Abbott, former Group Vice-President, Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), Service Provider Sales, Cisco Europe.
Abbott's former personal assistant at Cisco France confirmed that he has left the company. "We don't know where he has gone," she says. "He's back in the U.S."
In fact, Abbott is already settling in to his new position as head of worldwide sales at Symbol. The company's HR department was trying to find us a telephone number where we could contact Abbott at the time this article went to press.
According to our Cisco source, it's no surprise that Abbott made the jump across the pond to work with Nuti again. Nuti apparently took a mentoring role with Abbott, and the pair worked together closely while at Cisco.
But why leave Cisco to join Symbol? "I compare Symbol with Cisco in the early days -- very aggressive, very hungry, and very innovative," Nuti told us back in July. Apparently he has convinced at least one other former colleague that this is the case.
Whatever the reason, the move must have Symbol management beaming from ear to ear. The company is increasingly positioning itself against Cisco in the wireless LAN networking market, with new systems aimed at Cisco's core enterprise market, as well as the industrial and retail sectors that Symbol traditionally serves.
Abbott's responsibilities at Cisco are currently being handled by Rob Lloyd, president EMEA at Cisco.
— Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading
http://www.lightreading.com and — Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung
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