The 18-year veteran head of Cisco's service provider business resigned in March, but he's staying on until the end of next month.

Mitch Wagner, Executive Editor, Light Reading

June 10, 2016

2 Min Read
Cisco's Ahuja Staying On – But Not for Long

If you're baking a cake for the going-away party for Kelly Ahuja, best known for heading up Cisco's service provider business, keep the oven warm. Even though Ahuja quit in March, he hasn't gone anywhere yet.Ahuja's departure was a big deal when we reported it more than two months ago, so I was surprised when a colleague pointed out Ahuja's bio still appears as SVP, service provider business, products and solutions, on Cisco's website. Ahuja also lists that title on his LinkedIn profile. (See Cisco's Ahuja Quits as Robbins Revamps His Top Team.)Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) confirmed that Ahuja is staying on until the end of Cisco's fiscal 2016 to ease in the transition. That puts him in his chair until July 30, so not very long.Ahuja's extended tenure adds a dollop of stability to a Cisco executive team that has seen more churn than the Red Keep of Westeros since CEO Chuck Robbins was named as the successor to longtime Cisco head John Chambers a year ago.Most recently, Mario Mazzola, Prem Jain, Luca Cafiero, and Soni Jiandani stepped down. The foursome, nicknamed 'MPLS' for their initials, were masterminds of Cisco's Nexus 9000 switch line, its SDN strategy, as well as the "spin in" innovation strategy that enriched both the MPLS team and Cisco. The resignation came from a "disconnect" in a company reorganization that shunted the team to advisory roles. (See Cisco's 'Spin In' Innovation Team Spins Out.)During that reorganization, David Goeckeler, previously head of the security business unit, was put in charge of the Networking and Security business.The MPLS team quitting was the latest step in a stream of executive changes since Robbins took the Cisco helm. (See New Cisco Leadership Favors Diversity, Cisco Brings in New Blood for Tech Leadership and 2 Cisco Presidents Quit.)Want to know more about the cloud? Visit Light Reading Enterprise Cloud.Ahuja's resignation came as part of a March revamp that consolidated the core service provider segment with service provider cloud, video, NFV and mobility into a single service provider business led by Yvette Kanouff. (See CEO Chat With Yvette Kanouff, Head of Cisco's Cloud Business.)We're still awaiting word whether Cisco's service provider business will report to Goeckeler, or directly to Kanouff.Also still up in the air: whether Ahuja will be going to the annual Cisco Live event next month in Las Vegas.— Mitch Wagner, , Editor, Light Reading Enterprise Cloud.

About the Author(s)

Mitch Wagner

Executive Editor, Light Reading

San Diego-based Mitch Wagner is many things. As well as being "our guy" on the West Coast (of the US, not Scotland, or anywhere else with indifferent meteorological conditions), he's a husband (to his wife), dissatisfied Democrat, American (so he could be President some day), nonobservant Jew, and science fiction fan. Not necessarily in that order.

He's also one half of a special duo, along with Minnie, who is the co-habitor of the West Coast Bureau and Light Reading's primary chewer of sticks, though she is not the only one on the team who regularly munches on bark.

Wagner, whose previous positions include Editor-in-Chief at Internet Evolution and Executive Editor at InformationWeek, will be responsible for tracking and reporting on developments in Silicon Valley and other US West Coast hotspots of communications technology innovation.

Beats: Software-defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualization (NFV), IP networking, and colored foods (such as 'green rice').

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