Mark Papermaster, a former IBM executive who left Apple after the iPhone 4 antenna issues arose, will run Cisco's switching technology group.
Mark Papermaster, who spent 25 years with IBM
before a tumultuous year-plus at Apple, is now in charge of the chips that go
into Cisco Systems' key data-center switches.
reportedly started work with Cisco Nov. 15, where he is vice president of the
networking giant's Silicon Switching Technology Group. In that role, he will
oversee the ASIC chips that go into such core Cisco products as the Nexus 7000
and Catalyst switch portfolios.
business is part of Cisco's larger Data
Center, Switching and Services
Group, which is run by John McCool, senior vice president and general manager.
has garnered headlines over the past 12-plus months as it pushes beyond its
networking roots into a wide range of what CEO
John Chambers calls "adjacencies," including collaboration, smart grids and
sports arenas. However, those efforts focus on the idea that, at the foundation
of how the Internet is evolving and changing the way people work and
communicate, lies the network.
hiring comes three months after he left Apple following the fallout from the
company's well-publicized problems with the exterior antenna rim of the iPhone
4, which happened on his watch. Soon after the iPhone 4 was released, customers
and reviewers found that if the device was held in a particular way that
included touching the exterior antenna rim, reception was reduced to almost
was flogged by users and publications alike for its tepid initial response to
the issue, and later offered to give users free bumpers that cover the
smartphone's antenna rim.
despite the issues with the antenna and other parts of the device, reports
following his departure indicated that Papermaster left because he was unable
to fit in with Apple's culture
and did not get along with CEO Steve Jobs.
to a report in The Wall Street Journal
which interviewed several people who were said to be familiar with the
situation, Papermaster had been on the outs with Jobs for a while before he
Papermaster had lost the confidence of Mr. Jobs months ago and hasn't been part
of the decision-making process for some time," the Aug. 8 WSJ
article said, paraphrasing what some
of the anonymous sources told the publication.
had been Apple's senior vice president for mobile devices, leaving after only
16 months on the job.
previously had spent 25 relatively lower-profile years at IBM
before coming to Apple in 2008. Apple's hiring also grabbed headlines, as IBM
sued to block Papermaster, who over the years worked in a number of sensitive areas
at Big Blue, including in its PowerPC chip unit and its BladeCenter blade-server
business. In its lawsuit, IBM
claimed that Papermaster's hiring at Apple violated his non-compete clause with
IBM. After several months of legal wrangling, the case
eventually was settled in January 2009, with Papermaster agreeing to certify
multiple times during that year that none of his work with Apple violated the
conditions of the non-compete clause.