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Cloud Strategies

Cisco Brings in New Blood for Tech Leadership

Kicking off his first real day as Cisco CEO, Chuck Robbins on Monday named an executive with HP, IBM and Nortel on his resume as CTO, and a former Salesforce.com executive to the role of chief digital officer. The changes continue months of top leadership shifts and business refocusing since May, when Cisco announced Robbins for the top spot.

Zorawar Biri Singh, formerly a venture partner at Khosla Ventures and product leader at HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ), IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), and Nortel Networks, joins Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) as chief technology officer, platforms and solutions, where he will lead development of Cisco's long-term technology strategy.

Previously, he was senior VP and general manager of HP's cloud business, and led corporate strategy and portfolio solutions as VP cloud computing at IBM, where he "served as a member of the executive team that launched IBM's cloud business uni in 2010," Cisco says.

Kevin Bandy, previously senior VP, enterprise transformation, at Salesforce.com, joins Cisco as chief digital officer.

According to a Cisco spokesman, Bandy will work on transforming Cisco's own business to be "the best example for our customers."

Robbins, whose first day was technically Sunday, has been transforming Cisco's executive leadership team well before he formally took over the CEO spot. (See Robbins Succeeds Chambers as Cisco Changes CEOs.)

Cisco named Robbins in early May to succeed 20-year CEO John Chambers. (See Cisco's Robbins to Replace Chambers as CEO and Chambers's Legacy: A Resurgent Cisco .)

Within weeks, two company presidents, Rob Lloyd and Gary Moore, stepped down, as well as other top executives. (See 2 Cisco Presidents Quit.)

In early June, Cisco named a new executive leadership team that includes Pankaj Patel, executive vice president and chief development officer; Rebecca Jacoby, senior VP operations; and Hilton Romanski, senior vice president, chief technology and strategy officer. (See New Cisco Leadership Favors Diversity.)


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Last week, Cisco sold its set-top box business unit. (See Cisco Sells STB Unit to Technicolor for $604M.)

And Cisco also confirmed to Light Reading that it's shuttering its Invicta storage business unit, following the 2013 acquisition of Whiptail. (See Cisco to Acquire Whiptail for $415M.)

Cisco will turn to partners to fill its customers' data center storage needs, a company spokesman says.

— Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to [email protected]

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