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Optical/IP

Tony Li Returns to Cisco

Routing guru Tony Li has returned to Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), the company has confirmed.

It's a homecoming for the software expert, who joined Cisco in 1991 and went through stints at Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR), and Procket Networks, leaving Procket early this year for semi-retirement. Having Li on the team is no small potatoes; in fact, his presence at Procket helped propel that company to stardom above a stack of failed router startups (see Procket Processes a Dream Team and Li Finally Quits Procket).

Rumors started to swirl late Tuesday on Light Reading's message boards. Li, previously a very prolific poster on the boards, had not been heard from in some time. Some readers speculated that a new contract with Cisco forbids him from posting on the boards.

Mike Volpi, senior vice president of Cisco's routing division, confirmed that Li is now a Cisco employee, but Volpi said he is not prohibited from posting to message boards. Li is forbidden from leaking confidential information, says Volpi.

Volpi explained it this way: "Tony's a very digital thinker. If you tell him not to talk about the things he's not supposed to talk about -- he stops talking. But that's a Tony issue, not a Cisco issue."

The hiring brings Li back to the company he left in dramatic fashion. The story goes that Li nailed his resignation to his boss's door; Li won't confirm details but admits it wasn't his best moment (see New Kid on the Cisco/Juniper Block and Tony Li).

On a side note, it turns out there are now two employees at Cisco named Tony Li. One can only speculate whether the "other" Tony Li has gotten a voicemail box full of misdirected messages from well-wishers.

— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading




SUPERWEBINAR ALERT
On Thursday, December 9, at 12 noon New York / 9 a.m. California / 5 p.m. London time, during a free hour-long live Web seminar, representatives from Light Reading, EANTC, Agilent, and Cisco will present the results of the Light Reading CRS-1 test and answer questions about them. Telecom Italia will also be participating.

To register for the December 9 Webinar click here
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digerato 12/5/2012 | 1:00:03 AM
re: Tony Li Returns to Cisco Suggesting that Cisco might have taken the time and effort to write a custom employment contract that bans posting to LR (note: only LR, not any other msg board) really takes the cake! Get over yourselves, LR.

Secondly: Juniper et al. are probably breaking out the bubbly as I type this. They can get on with developing and marketing routers while Cisco has to deal with the huge drop in productivity that comes from having an arrogant primadonna on the "team". Oh, and I'm sure the very talented bunch of engineers at Cisco who managed to design and ship a very good product without Tony (the CRS-1) are overjoyed about being told how lucky they are to have him. I hear Juniper is hiring...

Digerato
Road Trip 12/5/2012 | 1:00:02 AM
re: Tony Li Returns to Cisco Who is Tony Li (seriously)?
pxf 12/5/2012 | 1:00:01 AM
re: Tony Li Returns to Cisco There is a lot of activity on Cisco hiring/firing product launch and re-positioning.

What I see is cyclical nature of technology. Internet at its current state and design is fairly matured and poised for its next evolution.

My take is that Cisco is taking all possible steps in terms of resource mobilization, market and product evolution and R&D (read acquisitions :)) to position itself for a new onslaught.

Watch out Juniper!!!
andropat 12/5/2012 | 1:00:00 AM
re: Tony Li Returns to Cisco well guys like pedro and pusateri I wouldn't shrug off either

pat
rocksolid 12/5/2012 | 12:59:59 AM
re: Tony Li Returns to Cisco "should have been successful like at Nexabit".

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Marete, are you out to lunch. Nexabit was a disaster and got shut down by Lucent less than a year after the overhyped, overpaid acquisition.

Axiowave is going where it should never have escaped from - nothingness. Too bad for the employees, but the VCs are getting what they deserve for investing in a market that won't support another vendor, and with a management team that has not delivered before.
marete 12/5/2012 | 12:59:59 AM
re: Tony Li Returns to Cisco Any news on Axiowave in Marlborough? It's too bad that they had to lay off so many employees. The management team looks strong, and should have been successful like at Nexabit. Anyone know if they developed ASICs for their product?
Majid Alghaslan 12/5/2012 | 12:59:58 AM
re: Tony Li Returns to Cisco Although I am not a big fan of idolizing people GǪ but come on! The guy does deserve some credit here. After all, the article has HIS NAME and all of us are posting messages about HIM! So instead of bashing the poor guy, maybe try to work with him rather than against him.
marete 12/5/2012 | 12:59:58 AM
re: Tony Li Returns to Cisco Rocksolid, my assessment is based on descriptions of biographies of the management team at Axiowave's website. Descriptions indicate that Nexabit was highly successful, and their router was delivered to Lucent. Perhaps Lucent didn't know what to do with the router because they lost all the original designers to Axiowave. Agree?

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Marete, are you out to lunch. Nexabit was a disaster and got shut down by Lucent less than a year after the overhyped, overpaid acquisition.

Axiowave is going where it should never have escaped from - nothingness. Too bad for the employees, but the VCs are getting what they deserve for investing in a market that won't support another vendor, and with a management team that has not delivered before.
rocksolid 12/5/2012 | 12:59:58 AM
re: Tony Li Returns to Cisco What is the big deal. I get a sense that the only people who really care where Tony Li goes is a small group of competing silicon valley IP developers that are either at Cisco, Juniper, or have tried a start-up of their own. To them it is a big deal counting the pieces on the chess-board. But the customers don't really care, as long as large systems vendors deliver the products and features on time, and at appropriate cost points. Given that CRS-1 was developed entirely without Tony Li, it goes to show that a large corporation can deliver significant new technology using a team of people, and is not tied to any one individual. Stop counting the chips guys, you are in the wrong game....
ajalgujal 12/5/2012 | 12:59:56 AM
re: Tony Li Returns to Cisco
Tony(with his team) delivered a working high end router in procket. Cisco has already announced they want to build a smaller CRS-1 version. Cisco mgmt has hired one of the best(and successful) guys in building routers.

Good luck to Cisco and Tony !!!
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