Meraki's co-founders have quit Cisco, a departure coming to light an embarrassing few weeks after the networking giant bragged about how Meraki is such a big deal.
Sanjit Biswas, John Bicket and Hans Robertson have all updated their LinkedIn profiles to show that they are no longer employed at Cisco.
Biswas's LinkedIn profile says he's "taking a break," and describes Meraki as having had a $120 million run rate before being acquired by Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) for $1.2 billion. Bicket's profile says he's "taking some time off" and says Meraki grew from $120 million per year to $500 million per year after the acquisition. Robertson's profile also shows him as "taking a little time off."
Cisco confirmed the departure. A spokeswoman said in an email that Cisco Senior Vice President Rob Soderbery will continue leading the enterprise segment, of which Meraki is a part. Todd Nightingale is VP and general manager of the cloud managed networking group, which incorporates Meraki; Martingale reports to Soderbery.
CRN quotes an anonymous Cisco partner, who says the high acquisition price tag for Meraki indicates Cisco was "buying the talent and to have these guys leave so quickly, for me, it's somewhat surprising."
The departure, or at least its timing, is embarrassing for Cisco, given that the company made a huge deal out of Meraki at a major announcement late last month. It acquired Meraki, primarily known for cloud-based management of wireless networks, in January 2013 and said last month that it's expanding its Meraki cloud services for enterprise and network management. (See Cisco Gives Its Software Licensing a Makeover and Cisco Shells Out $1.2B for Meraki.)
Recently, Cisco has bragged about 86% year-over-year growth in its Meraki business in its last earnings call, and a 400% increase in the two years since Cisco acquired the company. (See Cisco Busts Slump Despite Carrier Slowdown.)