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Optical/IP

Cisco's Cohen Moves Up

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) confirmed late this afternoon that Alan Cohen -- an Airespace veteran and the man some might call the poet laureate of the WiFi switch -- is moving up in the world. (See Something for the Weekend, Sir?)

"He'll head up marketing for all of the mobility stuff," says Cisco spokesman Chris McKie. Cisco's enterprise WiFi business and mobile carrier product line fall under different groups in the organization. Cohen's move suggests that the firm may be gearing to push fixed/mobile convergence -- an area that crosses the boundaries between the two -- harder. McKie, however, was unable to confirm this.

"It's a positive move -- he is basically being pushed upwards." says one industry source familar with the changes. “They’ve moved him into a strategic role to look at bringing together mobility and wireless more."

This somewhat contradicts some of the industry chatter that Unstrung has heard about the Cisco wireless business unit, suggesting that there have been departures and a perception that Airespace -- the switch startup that Cisco acquired back at the beginning of 2005 -- is actually taking over at the Cisco unit. (See Cisco Buys Airespace.)

Cisco's McKie denies this, saying: "Most of the shakeout from Airespace... pretty much ended six months ago."

Our industry source, however, does say that Cohen's move will lighten the load at the top of the WiFi unit. "The wireless group really kind of had two bosses," he says, "[Cohen] and [ex-Airespace CEO] Brett Galloway. Now they have Brett."

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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