Cisco's DeNuccio Talks With Redback
Redback Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: RBAK) is eyeing another Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) veteran named Kevin for its still-vacant CEO job. This time the networking equipment company is in talks with Kevin DeNuccio, the former top sales boss in Cisco's service provider business, Light Reading has learned.
Since February, Cisco has said that DeNuccio has been on a leave of absence for personal reasons. At that time, the head of Cisco's European operations, Bill Nuti, replaced him as senior vice president for Cisco's worldwide service provider operations business.
Late this afternoon, however, Cisco told Light Reading that DeNuccio has indeed left Cisco. "Kevin DeNuccio has resigned, and we wish him well in his endeavors," says Cisco spokeswoman Erica Schroeder.
It's not surprising that DeNuccio is gone. Cisco's corporate realignment this week appeared to obscure the company's service provider business, putting each service provider unit under executives with enterprise-only experience (see Reorg Rips Through Cisco's Ranks).
Kevin Kennedy, Cisco's former service provider boss, also quit this week, but it was announced that he would remain an advisor to Cisco. Kennedy was previously a top candidate for Redback's CEO job, but talks cooled after the fact that he was interviewing with the company was widely reported (see Cisco's Kennedy Ready to Leave? [Ed. note: Sorry!]). The fact that Kennedy is staying in an advisory role with Cisco may signal that he won't immediately go to work for a competitor.
The same can't be said for DeNuccio. Sources say DeNuccio interviewed with Redback sales boss Richard Bibb, CFO Dennis Wolf, and engineering boss Pankaj Patel just this week. DeNuccio is said to have a good relationship with the venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, where Redback chairman Pierre Lamond, who is leading the CEO search, is a partner (see Redback Closer to a New CEO).
Sequoia funded Cisco in its early days and, later, it backed several of the companies Cisco has acquired. Sequoia is also a backer of Callisma Inc., where DeNuccio holds a board seat. DeNuccio also holds board seats at Salesnet Inc., BroadRiver Communications, Netpliance, and consultancy KPMG, where Cisco has an investment.
In an unrelated development, Redback recently lost an executive, as its vice president of customer support, Dave Hare, resigned effective August 24, according to an internal memo obtained by Light Reading.
The memo, signed by Richard Bibb, compliments Hare on a job well done and says Redback receives "kudos from the customer base on an almost daily basis for the professional manner we support them."
"Dave's background and skills are more aligned with those required for a much larger organization," Bibb writes.
Hare, who joined Redback in January, seems to concur with that assessment, telling Light Reading on Friday: "My leaving has nothing to do with the company, its products, or the management team at all. It's just my decision to play a larger role at a bigger company."
In the last year, Redback has lost a sales boss (see Kruep Leaves Redback for Procket), a chief financial officer (see Redback CFO Gentner to Retire), an operations boss (see Another Redback Resignation [another Kevin!]), and two CEOs (see Redback's Barsema to Lead Startup and Redback Chief Quits). Also, its marketing boss, Larry Blair, remains on a leave of absence (see Redback's Blair off to the Races).
Redback declined to comment on its CEO search. DeNuccio did not return calls.
Shares of Redback were up 0.76 (19%) to 4.79 in early afternoon trading on Friday.
- Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading