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Optical/IP

Cisco Taps Cerent Vet

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) is drawing from the Cerent well to stock its newly shuffled optical division.

Ajaib Bhadare, a Cerent founder and former Cisco VP, has been hired back by Cisco, the company has confirmed. He reports to Surya Panditi, the former CEO of Avici Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: AVCI; Frankfurt: BVC7) and Polaris Networks Inc. , who heads Cisco's new Access Aggregation business unit -- which includes optical networking. (See Former Avici CEO Joins Cisco.)

Cerent was the nearly $7 billion acquisition that produced the ONS 15454, Cisco's flagship optical box. Bhadare more recently has been on the advisory council for Azure Capital Partners .

Earlier this month, Light Reading reported changes in Cisco's optical group, including the displacement of VP Rajiv Ramaswami. (See Cisco Swaps Opto Jobs.) Cisco officials say Ramaswami is now vice president and general manager of the Gigabit Systems business unit. Reportedly, this unit includes at least some of the Catalyst 4000 line of switches, as well as Cisco's pluggable optical transceivers. A goal of Ramaswami's for the optical division involved merging pluggable DWDM optics with routers and switches, allowing Cisco to use one set of optics across multiple product lines. (See DWDM Goes Pluggable.)

Optical networking, meanwhile, has been moved inside the newly created Access Aggregation business unit, which includes Cisco's optical and cable TV efforts and its next-generation carrier Ethernet products. (See Former Avici CEO Joins Cisco.)

Bhadare is on the board of Calix Inc. (NYSE: CALX), a startup led by former Cerent CEO Carl Russo. Bhadare is also chairman of Crimson Microsystems Inc. , which is compacting many MSPP and metro transport functions onto one chip. (See LR Picks Leading Lights IPO/M&A Finalists and Chips Pack MSPP Power.)

— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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