Star Cisco Engineers Resign After Reorganization
The departure of the famed "MPLS" team, best known for the company's "spin-in" strategy, marks the latest round of executive exits from Cisco Systems.Four Cisco Systems executives best known for leading the company's unique "spin-in" strategy that led to the development of products including its answer to software-defined networking have now become the latest officials to leave the giant networking vendor. Mario Mazzola, Prem Jain, Luca Cafiero and Soni Jiandani—who had been nicknamed "MPLS" because of their initials and in apparent reference to the networking technology developed by Cisco—are the latest in a series of high-ranking executives to leave the company since Chuck Robbins took over as CEO 2015. According to an internal memo sent by Robbins and obtained by The Wall Street Journal, the MPLS team has resigned and will leave the company June 17. The resignations come a week after Cisco announced that the four executives—who had been senior vice presidents and had led the Insieme Networks unit—would become advisers to Cisco as part of a larger, ongoing reorganization of the vendor's management under Robbins. Robbins' memo reportedly said that the decision by the four executives to resign was "based on a disconnect regarding roles, responsibilities and charter that came to light immediately after the announcement." The CEO also praised Mazzola, Jain, Cafiero and Jiandani, noting he had "personally learned so much from them, and they will always be an important part of Cisco's engineering story. Their legacy will live on through our ongoing innovation and the talented engineering leaders they have mentored."
There had been a lot of speculation about who would succeed Chambers in the years before his retirement as CEO. Robbins was announced as Chambers' successor in May 2015, and two months later he took over the position. Soon after, executives began leaving, including presidents Rob Lloyd and Gary Moore and CTO Padmasree Warrior. In February, Robbins reorganized Cisco's 25,000-member engineering team into four units focusing on networking, cloud services, security and the Internet of things (IoT).