Juniper Nabs Cisco Strategist

Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) has appointed a new corporate strategist and has nabbed from him from arch rival Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO). (See Juniper Appoints Chief Strategist.)

Juniper says Luis Avila-Marco is now its senior VP of corporate development, with "responsibility for leading corporate strategic planning, as well as the development of key strategic relationships for the company." Avila-Marco, who started with Juniper Monday and will be responsible for mergers and acquisitions, among other exciting things, will report directly to chairman and CEO Scott Kriens.

News of the appointment comes one day after Juniper announced John Morris as its new executive VP of worldwide field operations "with responsibility for heading Juniper’s global sales, services and channel organizations." He didn't join from Cisco: Morris was previously the CEO at Pay By Touch, a "pioneer in biometric payments" that went out of business earlier this year. [Ed note: That reminds me of something my mother used to say: "If you can't afford it, don't touch it!"]

Juniper describes 39-year-old Avila-Marco as a "seasoned corporate strategist," as he joins from the post of VP of corporate strategic planning at Cisco outfit Scientific-Atlanta, where he had worked for 14 years.

"Luis brings the optimal balance of conceptual and analytical expertise, in both strategy and operating roles that we need to capitalize on the opportunities in front of us and to fortify our leadership position in the market for high-performance network infrastructure," stated Kriens in Juniper's official news announcement.

"And he can give us the skinny on what Cisco's planning," Kriens could have said, but didn't.

Avila-Marco replaces Spencer Greene, who has been shunted off to be senior VP of customer advocacy. It's not clear if that post comes with a new set of gardening tools.

Juniper says Greene, who was two years in the lead corporate development role, "will now focus his exclusive attention on customers' business and networking requirements, ensuring that Juniper... " and so on. (See Juniper Names New Execs.)

Avila-Marco arrives as Juniper continues its push into the enterprise and Ethernet equipment sectors, but with his recent background (at Scientific Atlanta) being video-based technology, it's just possible that Juniper might now look to go the way of Cisco and Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) and buy into the video delivery technology market. (See Feature Story: Juniper's Enterprise Vision, Juniper Storms Into Ethernet Switching, and Ericsson: Tandberg Is Key to IPTV.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

materialgirl 12/5/2012 | 3:37:12 PM
re: Juniper Nabs Cisco Strategist Just grafting a SFA-CSCO exec onto JNPR does not guarantee success. Perhaps this defection, along with others, says volumes about the level of change and uncertainty under way at CSCO. However, Kriens is no Chambers. Without a CEO who listens, nothing will change.
everythingip 12/5/2012 | 3:37:11 PM
re: Juniper Nabs Cisco Strategist if they were going to steal an exec, wouldn't make sense to get someone from the Cisco side of the house...not that Luis is not talented, however if you check Juniper's recent history, they haven't been doing well on the exec recruiting front, oh well, slow summer

lightreceding 12/5/2012 | 3:36:48 PM
re: Juniper Nabs Cisco Strategist another case of Juniper following Cisco trying figure out what they are up to. The strategy at Cisco is changing and old school strategists are leaving.
lightreceding 12/5/2012 | 3:36:48 PM
re: Juniper Nabs Cisco Strategist I heard that Eddie stepped down and was replaced John Morris from now defunct Pay By Touch. Any new on this?
brahmos 12/5/2012 | 3:36:47 PM
re: Juniper Nabs Cisco Strategist imo jnpr is a co whose best times are over. and they
are still a small co...unable to deploy the necessary cash and people to enter strongly into emerging areas. days of buying up cos with stock being over (not that they were much into acquisitions), one needs internal cash cow products (think csco cat6k, isr) to fund new internal ventures and constantly regenerate and expand into promising areas.

considerable churn in top mgt layer too...

matahari 12/5/2012 | 3:36:45 PM
re: Juniper Nabs Cisco Strategist It seems Juniper is trying too hard to emulate Cisco, except that Cisco has long moved on to other more forward looking markets by the time Juniper gets there.

Juniper keeps trying to catch up by hiring Cisco VPs in the hopes of getting ideas its internal employees are unable to come up with themselves. The days of Juniper innovation are long gone. They can makes things better, but no longer the innovator others try to chase in their earlier years.
NPR 12/5/2012 | 3:36:45 PM
re: Juniper Nabs Cisco Strategist >> another case of Juniper following Cisco trying figure out what they are up to

Amen. Some 2nd tier VP leaving Cisco to become senior VP or whatever in Juniper or Redback has become common now. For reason, these cos think getting these guys is a big coup.
volkot 12/5/2012 | 3:36:37 PM
re: Juniper Nabs Cisco Strategist
It's hard to argue that Juniper has suffered for years from the lack of leadership.

Scott Kriens can be best described as a salesman, a shy thief of stock options, a master of politics - anyone BUT a leader in a technology company.

That's exactly why replacement of Spencer Green will not change anything - his group has been notoriously disfunctional.
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