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Cisco's Top Service Provider Exec Jumps Ship

Jeff Baumgartner
8/8/2018
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Yvette Kanouff, the head of Cisco's Service Provider business, announced to the company Wednesday that she is leaving to start her "third career chapter."

In an internal message to employees obtained by Light Reading about her departure, Kanouff, the SVP and GM of Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)'s Service Provider Business, noted that she's secured a board seat at a yet-unnamed company and will focus on emerging technologies.

"My next phase, which I have been thinking for years, is about being able to make an impact on boards and nurturing new industries and technologies," she wrote. "I start my first board seat this month, and I have an opportunity to work with many startups and companies. It is certainly a bit scary to make such a big change, but it is incredibly exciting."

Yvette Kanouff
Yvette Kanouff

Cisco said Jonathan Davidson, SVP and GM of its Service Provider Networking unit, will lead Cisco's SP business going forward. "We appreciate Yvette's leadership of our Service Provider business over the past four years and wish her all the best as she begins a new chapter," the company said in a statement.

Kanouff's move comes about three months after the company inked a deal to sell its video software business, including what was part of its $5 billion acquisition of NDS, to private equity firm Permira . She is also moving on amid ongoing struggles at Cisco's Service Provider segment, which was down 4% in Cisco's fiscal Q1. (See Cisco Dumps Video Software Biz, Ends NDS Era and Cisco Bets $5B More on Video With NDS.)

That deal with Permira, centered on Cisco's Service Provider Video Software Solutions business, is slated to close later this month, and Kanouff is expected to stay on to see that deal through. Permira, which previously held a majority stake in NDS and counts former NDS Chairman and CEO Dr. Abe Peled as an advisor, plans to rebrand the company and focus on developing and launching new video products for the pay-TV industry.

Kanouff has been asked for details on her new board seat (Light Reading will update the story if that info comes to light).

Kanouff recently spoke to Light Reading to talk about how network automation techniques can yield bottom-line business results (See Cisco's Yvette Kanouff: How We Get Real Results From Network Automation.)

Kanouff joined Cisco in 2014 as SVP and GM of its SP Video Software and Solutions Group, and was named to her last slot at Cisco in March 2016.

She is also late of Cablevision Systems (now part of Altice USA ) and was a long-time exec at video software company and VoD tech company SeaChange International Inc. (Nasdaq: SEAC), where she ultimately rose to become president.

Kanouff was also a key player at Time Warner Cable's technology division, and was part of the team that worked on The Full Service Network, an ambitious (and expensive) project that pioneered and tested an early mix of interactive services, including VoD and on-screen, online shopping and media-rich TV interfaces. (See Now That's A Set-Top!)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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