Cisco switches to two-unit mode
Cisco Systems cleaned house, refurbishing its previous three divisions into two — an 11-part engineering unit and a marketing unit. The company also moved execs and lost Kevin Kennedy, its senior VP of its old service provider line.
In April 1997, Cisco devised three lines of business — its enterprise, service provider and commercial units — to focus on the growing markets at the time, mainly in IP services and products. With the switch, Cisco's engineering division will focus on 11 areas: access, aggregation, Cisco IOS technologies division, Internet switching and services, Ethernet access, network management services, core routing, optical, storage, voice and wireless.
Cisco President and CEO John Chambers says in an interview that the 11 groups focus on areas "we believe will be profitable growth opportunities in the future."
The company appointed Mario Mazzola, former senior VP of the new business ventures group, as chief development officer. Mazzola will oversee the 11 technology groups. Four will fall under the auspices of Charlie Giancarlo, former senior VP of the commercial business group. Former Chief Strategy Officer Michelangelo Volpi will oversee Internet switching and services and James Richardson, former senior VP of the enterprise business, will become chief marketing officer, overseeing the new marketing segment.
Cisco did lose Kennedy, former senior VP of the service provider unit, who is pursuing external opportunities, but who will act as industry and technical advisor to Cisco.
Chambers says the two new groups are a "logical extension of Cisco's six-point plan" that it outlined in January. The intent was to streamline resources and focus on markets with growth potential.
He also noted that Kennedy's departure and the changes don't affect Cisco's focus on the service provider market.