In Pictures: 7 key Cisco executive hires in the past 15-20 months

Cisco staffs up for push into vital markets

  • Leading the Charge In the past couple of years, Cisco has hired seven executives from competitors to expand the company’s footprint in adjunct markets to routing and switching: security, SDNs, and even storage. CEO John Chambers gave a shout out to the recent hires in our interview with him last week. Here’s a rundown of who’s come on and from where…

  • Dave Ward Ward came from Juniper to spearhead Cisco’s software, programmable networking and SDN initiatives in his role as vice president and CTO of engineering. He had been CTO of Juniper’s Platform Systems Group, responsible for pretty much everything to do with its routers and switches. Ward is also chairing several IETF working groups, founded the OpenDaylight SDN consortium and has a tomato farm in Wisconsin.

  • Paul Perez Perez comes from HP to help define Cisco’s role in storage as vice president and CTO, Data Center. Storage could be a key element of spin-in Insieme’s product line when it debuts later this year, CEO Chambers hinted. Perez brings lots of insight after 27 years at HP, much of it in enterprise storage and servers.

  • Bret Hartman Hartman is Cisco’s CTO of security and he comes to the company from security powerhouse RSA, where he was also CTO. Before that, Hartman was CTO of Information Security at RSA parent EMC. Hartman’s responsibilities include integrating the technologies of acquired security companies – like this week’s purchase of Sourcefire and January’s Cognitive Software buy – into a comprehensive security architecture, like Cisco’s recently announced pxGrid. CEO Chambers has said that Cisco has a blank check when it comes to buying security companies and technology. That’ll keep Hartman very busy…

  • John Apostolopoulos Apostolopoulos is CTO of Cisco’s Enterprise group, coming over from rival HP about six months ago. He also leads Cisco’s Enterprise Networking Labs. He has lots of experience at that from HP: Apostolopoulos was director of HP’s Mobile & Immersive Experience Lab and Distinguished Technologist in HP Labs. While in HP’s MIX Lab, Apostolopoulos sought to create networked media experiences that change how people communicate, collaborate, socialize and entertain. This included research on mobile devices and sensing, mobile client/cloud multimedia computing, video/audio signal processing, multimedia networking, vision & graphics, glasses-free 3D, next-generation plastic displays, wireless, and user experience design – many things Cisco is looking to lead in.

  • Paul Mankiewich Mankiewich is CTO for Service Provider Mobility. He came to Cisco from Juniper, where he spent a little over two years as chief architect for mobility and service provider CTO. But before that, Mankiewich spent almost 29 years at Lucent and Alcatel-Lucent as CTO of wireless. Chambers said Mankiewich is “as good as it gets” in mobility.

  • Paul Polakos Polakos is a Cisco Fellow, and a 27-year veteran of Lucent, Alcatel-Lucent and Bell Labs. Like Mankiewich, his expertise is in wireless. Twenty-two of his 27 years at Lucent and Alcatel-Lucent were spent in Bell Labs researching wireless access networks, architectures and physical properties. His latest work involved flat-IP cellular networks supporting distributed mobility and distributed resource management, and autonomic networks as applied to mobile cellular and highly-scalable pico- and femtocell networks.

  • Nick Thexton Cisco inherited Nick Thexton from its $5 billion purchase of video software giant NDS last year. Thexton has been at NDS for over 20 years, most recently as CTO, pretty much defining the technology for everything NDS did to develop software to create pay TV video offerings that enable subscribers to view, search and navigate digital content on any device. Cisco says video is the next voice – no doubt Thexton will be instrumental in defining its tone.

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