Is Mike Volpi Going to Get Joost?

In a move foreshadowed in his last interview with Light Reading, former Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) executive Mike Volpi may have found a new home as CEO of online video startup Joost , according to a report citing unnamed sources.

Volpi is said to be talking to Joost about its top job, where he would replace Fredrik de Wahl, who has served as CEO since the Joost project was announced.

Volpi has long been familiar with the Joost family; Joost founders Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom also founded Skype Ltd. , where Volpi served on the board of directors.

Index Ventures , which led Joost's most recent funding round with Sequoia Capital , was an early investor in Skype. And both Index and Sequoia had also put money into Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)- and Skype-backed WiFi startup Fon , where Volpi was a board member. (See Google, Skype Back WiFi Startup and FON Raises $21.7M.)

Volpi made his name as a Mover & Shaker at Cisco, where he was last in charge of the company's Routing and Service Provider Technology Group. Over a 12-year period, he was on board for an acquisition spree in which Cisco bought more than 70 companies, and he held a number of executive titles, including CTO. (See Volpi Out at Cisco, Cisco Reorganizes Telco Team, and Volpi's Greatest Hits.)

While he was often thought of as a possible successor to Cisco CEO John Chambers, Volpi told Light Reading that specific job is not one he craved.

If Volpi takes the Joost job, the move would underscore other comments he made to Light Reading shortly after his departure from Cisco. In that discussion, Volpi played down his interest in a chief executive position at a large publicly held company, but said he would be open to "being CEO of a smaller firm that offers a chance to grow, but has less of a 'public life/stress thing.' " (See Volpi Sizes Up Life After Cisco.)

But comments he made about the online video market make one wonder if he might have known he would end up at a company like Joost:

The area that I find most exciting is transforming video and what we know today as television entertainment.

I like a lot of the over-the-top stuff that's happening in the market. You see the advent of companies like YouTube and MySpace, and they clearly take advantage of some of the work we do at Cisco, but in a very different area.

— Ryan Lawler, Reporter, Light Reading

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 3:07:42 PM
re: Is Mike Volpi Going to Get Joost? Seems like a good move for Mike.

So -- who wants to start the rumor about Cisco acquiring Joost? :)
firstmiler 12/5/2012 | 3:07:42 PM
re: Is Mike Volpi Going to Get Joost? Cisco Joost???

We used to drink it by the bucket-full in '99.

However, back in the Bubble we used to call it Cisco Kool-Aid.

You know: "new economy", IBSG, "net-ready", drunken sailor vendor financing (otherwise known as "Jumpstart"), "old school brick and mortar retailers just don't get it", "the Internet changes everything", unwaivoring belief that Cisco could egineer a penny-over-estimates in perpetuity, or simply put an "e" in front of pretty much any business process or buzzword (e-procurement, e-workflow, e-etc.).

Cisco Kool Aid is now Cisco Joost. Drink freely.

rjmcmahon 12/5/2012 | 3:07:40 PM
re: Is Mike Volpi Going to Get Joost? However, back in the Bubble we used to call it Cisco Kool-Aid.

I remember it going way beyond that. Greenspan testified to Congress that the US government was generating so much surplus revenue that not only did we eliminate our perpetual deficits but we also could buy back *all* the outstanding debt. The problem according to him was that if the US tried to buy back all the debt it would drive the bond prices through the roof.

Talk about kool-aid.
routed 12/5/2012 | 3:07:19 PM
re: Is Mike Volpi Going to Get Joost? Goodluck to him and his family.
firstmiler 12/5/2012 | 3:06:28 PM
re: Is Mike Volpi Going to Get Joost? Careful with what... he only made millions at Cisco???

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 3:06:27 PM
re: Is Mike Volpi Going to Get Joost?
He is not on Forbes list of billionaires. So, I think he probably took more than $1M out of that relationship.

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